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5 Reasons You Need a Dental Exam

Do you remember when your last dental check up was? With all the craziness lately, chances are it has been awhile. If it has been more than a year, then it is time to schedule an appointment with our dental office in Thunder Bay. Semi-annual dental checkups are important for many reasons. They can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, maximize your oral hygiene, provide early detection of problems like cavities or oral cancer, and save you money in the long run by catching dental issues before they become emergencies.

Want to know why? Check out these 5 reasons!

Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Dental checkups are an important part of anyone’s dental health regime and should be done twice a year. During a dental exam, your dentist will inspect your teeth and gums in order to identify any signs that a dental disease could be present. This is done using dental equipment such as dental x-rays and special dental tools. 

Also during a dental exam, a dental hygienist will do a dental cleaning to remove plaque from your teeth.  Excess plaque accumulation leads to tooth decay and gum disease, so regular teeth cleanings are important to decrease your risk. Not to mention they’ll also clean the spaces between your teeth, under your gum line, and around your back teeth, which are all areas that are commonly neglected. 

Maximize Your Daily Oral Hygiene

Dental care is about more than just dental exams. It’s also about dental hygiene, which is the most important thing you can do to keep your mouth healthy and clean. After all you only visit your dentist about twice a year, but you practice dental hygiene daily (or at least you should be!). For this reason, your dentist and their hygienist will provide you with guidance on how to get the most out of your daily hygiene routine. For example, if your brushing technique is causing gum recession, your dentist may have you change toothbrushes or practice improving your technique. Ultimately, your dentist will teach you how to properly brush and floss your teeth so that they are always clean and healthy!

dentist talking to patient

Screen for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a disease that can develop in the mouth, throat, or pharynx. It is often diagnosed when it is not at an early stage. If untreated, oral cancer can lead to death. The main symptom of oral cancer is any type of white patch on the inside of the mouth, cheeks or tongue. Since cases of oral cancer are often treatable when diagnosed early, your dentist will also perform a basic oral cancer screening during your dental checkup. They will look for changes in the color or texture of the tissues in and around the mouth that could indicate the presence of oral cancer. If they suspect something, they will then recommend consulting with a medical doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. 

Identify Problems Before They Cause Problems

Dental checkups also allow your dentist to identify potential dental problems BEFORE they have a chance to start causing problems. They can detect an early warning sign which could evolve into a dental problem if left untreated.  For example, cavities are dental problems that can be prevented or easily treated with composite fillings, but if they go untreated, the dental problem will worsen and may eventually require a root canal. Root canals are more complicated dental procedures which require anesthesia and time in the dental chair to complete. Regular dental checkups make it more likely that you can take care of a cavity early on before it becomes a serious problem requiring extensive treatment. 

Save You Money

Dental checkups not only help you avoid dental problems, they also save you money.  For example, dental insurance may pay for the dental exam and X-rays but not for other services like fillings or root canals. Additionally, minor dental procedures, such as composite fillings, are less costly than major procedures, such as a root canal and/or crown fabrication. These procedures are usually paid out of pocket at a cost that is much higher than dental insurance. You could be saving hundreds of dollars a year by getting regular dental checkups so your dentist can identify potential dental problems BEFORE they have a chance to start causing problems.  So even if it costs $100 per year to get a dental exam and an X-ray every six months, this small investment in health care will more than pay for itself with just two or three visits!

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Dr. Sanket Upadhyay

DR. SANKET, BDS

Dr. Sanket completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree in India in 2011 and obtained his Canadian dental license in 2016. He is a member in good standing with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Sanket regularly pursues continuing education through dental conferences and courses to enhance his knowledge and be at the forefront of advances in dentistry.

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