Seeing the dentist is critical in maintaining good oral health and detecting cavities before they become large. Millions of people don’t see their dentist enough, or don’t see their dentist at all. Millions more see the dentist, but don’t brush and floss their teeth enough to prevent tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist at least twice a year, if not more often for those prone to tooth decay (cavities) and gum problems. Even infants can begin developing tooth decay as soon as their first tooth erupts. Adults and children alike need to employ proper oral health habits in order to keep their teeth healthy and strong for many years to come. We can help you to know how your teeth change over time and how to take care of them properly!
What Do Dentists Do?
Dentists complete a 4-year undergraduate degree, where they then go on to dental school for another 4 years. Some dentists do a 1-2 year fellowship afterwards, or they do orthodontic school for several years. A dentist is trained in the prevention and treatment of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health issues. They are also able to identify the signs and symptoms of oral cancer and help stop its progression. Some dental offices even provide orthodontic treatment in the form of Invisalign treatment.
Depending on the dental office you go to, a dentist is trained to do services such as:
- Comprehensive Exams
- Dental Cleanings
- Sedation Dentistry
- Oral Cancer Screenings
- Tooth Extractions
- Laser Cavity Detection
- Laser Tissue Treatment
- Dental Sealants
- Sleep Apnea Therapy
- X-ray Imaging
- Scaling and Root Planing
- Periodontal Treatment
- Teeth Whitening
- Root Canal Therapy
- Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Dental Botox Treatment
- Cosmetic Bonding
- Porcelain Veneers and Crowns
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Implants
- Same-Day Crowns (E4D)
How Often Should You See One?
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit the dentist twice a year. Some patients will need to a visit a dentist more often than this, especially if they have oral health issues such as frequent cavities or gum disease. These twice-a-year visits are checkups to see how your oral health is doing. We perform comprehensive exams and dental cleanings during these visits. However, coming in for a routine visit isn’t the only reason for seeing the dentist. Seeing the dentist is very important if you have toothaches, gum pain or infections, lesions or abnormalities in the mouth, discoloration of your mouth tissues and more.
Many patients see the dentist because they have been to a routine checkup and the dentist has found a cavity or gum problem. Cavities are frequent in our patients because they are easy to get, especially if you don’t brush and floss your teeth enough. We then make another appointment with you to remove that tooth decay or treat your dental problem. You should see the dentist for those two visits and for problems such as these:
- Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold
- You have dry mouth a lot
- You are pregnant (to check for mouth changes or lesions)
- You have mouth pain or swelling
- You have previous dental work such as fillings, implants or crowns
- You smoke or use tobacco products (which raise your chances for cancer and decay)
- Your jaw pops
- You get frequent headaches or have frequent jaw pain
- You have a medical condition
- You have a spot or sore in your mouth
At our office, we will provide you a full dental cleaning that includes brushing, polishing, flossing and removing plaque from the teeth. An exam will include an oral-cancer screening, taking digital x-rays to detect tooth decay, and checking your mouth for bite and alignment issues. Our practice is a bit different than other dental offices because we practice eco-friendly dentistry. Eco-friendly dental practices focus their attention on waste and pollution reduction. They save water, energy and money where they can and support a wellness lifestyle. Practices such as ours also use high-tech machinery and paperless documentation systems so that paper isn’t needlessly wasted.
Not every dental practice is eco-friendly, but the world could benefit from more practices that are. Niles Family Dentistry has a passion for the environment and is committed to preserving the beauty of it. At our office, we recycle and reuse materials that we can. All of our paint, carpet and building products used during construction were environmentally-friendly. We are a mercury-free practice and only use digital x-rays instead of x-ray systems with developing chemicals. We save water, energy and money by using energy-saving lighting, and in-office water distiller and conventional vacuum systems. We are eco-friendly in many other ways, but are still a minority when it comes to other dental practices.
Seeing the Dentist
Even if you have never been to the dentist, or you don’t go often, it’s never too late to get in the habit. Seeing the dentist will benefit you no matter if you are 8 or 88. The earlier you start seeing the dentist, the lower your risk for tooth decay and gum disease is. Seeing the dentist at least twice a year will keep your gums and teeth healthy. A dentist can also warn you if they see the signs or oral cancer, cavities, gum problems and more, and can provide services to remedy these problems. Don’t let oral health problems become big issues! Visit us today by scheduling your appointment with Niles Family Dentistry at (303) 652-0400!