Are you curious as to what the point of regular dental exams are? Sure, you know they help clean your teeth but if you brush and floss daily, is it really necessary? Yes. Yes. YES. Even those who take tremendous care of their mouths should have routine maintenance. And the best part with Folden Lee, DDS, regular dental cleanings in Clayton with Dr. Lee are a breeze!
Whether you feel you don’t have enough time on your hands, dental anxiety or plain curiosity has you questioning your visits… we understand. Before you decide to forgo your next cleaning though, make sure you understand the risks involved by skipping. From saving money (yes, you read that correctly) to keeping your teeth in your mouth, we list out some of the top reasons to KEEP up with your dental cleanings.
The American Dental Association recommends flossing between your teeth daily and brushing twice a day. Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. If not removed this plaque hardens and turns into tartar. So while flossing can help prevent tartar from building up, it cannot remove it.
The most assiduous and meticulous flossers out there can’t reach every spot when it comes to plaque. When plaque and tartar build up they can erode the teeth and create cavities. If you go to your regular dental visit your dentist or hygienist can remove the plaque and tartar to prevent tooth decay. Once you have a cavity you will have to have a filling which will result in possibly another visit and more money.
Gum Disease Prevention
Another risk as plaque builds up is gum or periodontal disease. Gum disease is typically a result of poor oral hygiene. Heavy use of alcohol, smoking and diabetes can also increase your chances of gum disease. Early stages of gum disease can be reversed with professional cleanings. Your dentist will remove plaque and tartar build up both above and below the gum line. Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. With periodontitis or advanced periodontitis not only are the gums and teeth at risk, the jaw bone may be at risk now as well. Shifting of teeth, tooth loss and bone loss can all occur if your gum disease spins out of control. To restore your gums, flap or pocket reduction surgery and soft tissue grafts may be needed. In severe cases bone surgery and grafting may take place. This is, if you do want to save your teeth… and you guessed it, this is a lot more expensive than a routine check-up for prevention.
Oral Cancer Screenings
We’ll keep this section short. As most of us know, early detection is key. Patients diagnosed in the early stages of oral cancer have an 80% – 90% survival rate according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. Unfortunately, approximately two thirds are currently found in advanced stages. With regular dental exams you are more likely to catch oral cancer in the beginning stages and possibly save your life.
In regular dental exams a dentist can often see underlying problems that are not seen or felt by the patient. Catching these issues before they become major issues can save you money and possibly pain! If you haven’t pieced it together by now, regular dental cleanings help with the prevention of disease and tooth loss. Prevention is almost always going to be less expensive than repair when it comes to most things in life. Most dental plans have minimal or no co-payments for cleanings. Many dental offices offer dental financing options as well. By protecting your oral health on a routine basis you are more likely to avoid costly extensive procedures in the future.
If cost or dental anxiety are an issue, talk to your trusted Clayton dentist about this. We will set out options for you and make sure you feel comfortable with our doctors and staff. A dental cleaning is much less scary than surgery or smiling with no teeth when you compare the two.