by Dr. Atefeh Sareh
You may have heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This wisdom especially proves true when it comes to scheduling a preventive dental checkup. Why? Preventive dental care is vital for protecting the health of your mouth and the rest of your body.
Beyond Teeth Cleaning
Of course, your routine dental appointment will include teeth cleaning, plaque removal, and cavity checks. However, you may not realize that your dental care team is also trained to check for signs of gum disease and other chronic conditions that require timely diagnosis and treatment. For example, your dentist will check your mouth for signs of mouth and throat cancer. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), nearly 4 in 10 patients diagnosed with mouth or throat cancer will die within 5 years. In addition, diabetes may cause mouth sores that your dentist can identify.
Personalized Oral Care
So, how often should you go to the dentist? Just like your smile is unique to you, so is the frequency of your dental checkups. Consult your dentist for a personalized schedule of routine dental appointments. He or she will make recommendations based on your unique oral health, habits, and health conditions.
Age, Health, and Lifestyle Factors
To help determine the ideal frequency of your routine dental care, your dentist will work with you to identify any potential risk factors while considering the following guidelines:
- Healthy adults: While you may have heard that twice a year is the optimal number, a study published by the Journal of Dental Research revealed that once a year may be enough for some patients. Your dentist will advise you on the best schedule for your individual oral health and circumstances.
- Children: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children start seeing a dentist within their first year of life — ideally when their first tooth appears. The primary purpose of the first dental appointment is to provide educational information to parents about pediatric dental care. Children may benefit from a dental check-up every six months or as often as recommended by their pediatric dentist.
- High-risk groups: If you have diabetes or interleukin-1 genetic variations, your dentist may recommend several dental appointments each year. Smoking is also a risk factor that can seriously impact your oral health and require additional checkups. According to the ADA, smoking can cause a gingival recession, oral cancer, delayed healing following periodontal therapy, mucosal lesions, tooth staining, and periodontal disease. Even smokeless tobacco products can increase your risk of oral cancer and oral mucosal lesions.
Dental Services and Specialists
In addition to your routine dental appointments, your local dental office is available to provide a variety of dental services and specialists whenever you need them. For example, you may be interested in cosmetic, restorative, or reconstructive dental care. West Coast Dental’s specialty services include the following:
- Dental crowns, bridges, and implants
- Teeth whitening
- Dental veneers and lumineers
- Custom and partial dentures
- Dental fillings
- Dental sealants
- Fluoride treatments
- Teeth extraction
- Sedation dentistry
- Emergency dentistry
West Coast Dental also provides access to a variety of dental specialists, including the following:
- Oral surgeons: Experts in reconstructive procedures, wisdom teeth, dental implants, and complex problems involving the teeth, jaw, and mouth.
- Pedodontists: Specialists that focus on children’s dentistry.
- Periodontists: Experts in treating gum disease.
- Endodontists: Specialists trained in performing root canal therapy and treating other diseases affecting the soft, inner dental tissue.
- Orthodontists: Experts in straightening smiles and crooked teeth with braces and invisible aligners.
Whether you’re looking for a routine dental checkup or a specialized service, West Coast Dental makes it easy for you to get the expert care you need in a comfortable, friendly environment. If you’re experiencing pain or any other changes in your oral health, don’t delay treatment. Book a dental appointment today to schedule a visit with a dentist near you.