The Importance (and Value!) of Preventive Oral Health Care
Dental care in North America is far from well-attended, with one-fifth of U.S. adults never visiting a dentist unless they have an emergency. Canadians are somewhat better about their oral health, with the Canadian Dental Association reporting that around 85% see a dentist at least once every two years. Getting a regular dental exam is critical for preventive oral health care, which many people take for granted. Even though our provincial health cover does not cover it, it’s essential to budget for the care you need or sign up at a community dental health centre.
Why Regular Dental Exams Matter
Getting a dental checkup regularly is an integral part of good dental hygiene, but it’s also much more than that. Catching problems early can mean the difference between losing teeth and keeping them, or avoiding costly dental procedures like extracting impacted teeth or root canal therapy. What’s more, you don’t only get checked out during a dental exam. At Nordel Crossing Dental Centre, our dentists take patients through several steps during these routine consultations. These include:
1. Medical Q&A
Our dentists will ask you questions about your overall health, and whether you’ve experienced any changes since your last visit to us or another dentist. We’ll take down your medical history and review the list of prescription medications you take, as well as any herbal supplements and vitamins you currently use. We’ll discuss any allergies you get, and have a non-judgemental conversation about food, drug, and alcohol consumption. The information you provide gives our dentists insight into any potential oral health risks you face, so we can advise and treat you effectively.
2. Take X-Rays
Taking dental x-rays is a standard step in all first consultations, so we can create a file for you that contains detailed images of your oral health status from the start. The x-rays consist of images taken from various angles that help to identify cavities, tooth decay, and any impacted or infected teeth. These will help us determine the right treatment plan for you, so you don’t waste time and money having procedures that aren’t precisely geared to your needs.
At subsequent visits, we may ask for one or two additional x-rays to record any changes made since the originals were taken. If you have x-rays taken at a former dental office, you can give us permission to request copies of them to be sent over.
3. Developing a Treatment Plan
Good oral health improves your ability to speak clearly, smile attractively, eat comfortably, and show your emotions through the use of facial expressions. Once we know the state of your oral health, we can develop a customized treatment plan that will address any issues and help you maintain a high quality of life. Even if you don’t need any corrective treatment, developing a plan will help you be proactive with your oral healthcare and make sure you stay free of any serious dental issues.
4. Teeth Cleaning and Polishing
After your regular dental exam and any procedures you might need, you’ll typically have a comprehensive dental cleaning, including scaling, planing, and polishing the teeth. This helps you prevent bad breath by removing plaque from the tooth surfaces. The process also eliminates stains on the surface enamel, and the polishing of your teeth makes them feel cleaner and look whiter. By doing this, you combat tooth infection and prevent tooth decay. This helps your teeth last longer and avoids the need for expensive dental bills.
While a regular dental exam doesn’t typically include teeth whitening our dentist in Surrey BC will leave your mouth looking and feeling better than it did when you came in. What’s more, you’ll be reassured that for the next few months, at least, you’re unlikely to experience pain and challenges from your mouth.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment with our qualified and experienced dental team. We look forward to being of service and helping you to maintain your oral health.