In our ongoing “Ask the Dentist” topics, a question that is often brought up is “What are the benefits to regular dental exams and cleanings?”
The main reason to have regular dental exams is to catch potential problems early and keep them small. For instance, removing decay early while it is comparatively small can prevent the growth of the decay reaching the tooth pulp and resulting in the need for endodontic root canal treatment (removal of diseased tissue in the root canal and replacement with a material) and possible crown, depending on the extent of the decay.
Often people ask how frequently they should have their dental exams and cleanings, and have a particular time interval in mind based on what they have heard or experienced growing up. This is best diagnosed by your dentist, as it depends on many factors ranging from how many and what type of existing restorations a patient has (fillings, crowns, bridges) that need to be checked; whether there is gum disease that needs to be treated and managed; and medical conditions and changes that may affect dental health.
What happens during a dental cleaning visit? We measure your gums and check for any recession as well as remove any plaque build-up that has occurred. Remember to keep your regular cleaning appointments to remove the plaque that daily brushing and flossing doesn’t completely remove.
Frank has been coming for over ten years, is very happy with his checkups and the results of regular dental exams and care that helps prevent bigger problems.