Preventive Dental Care with Checkups
The American Dental Association recommends you see your dentist at least twice each year for a preventive dental checkup and teeth cleaning appointment. At your checkup, we will inspect soft tissues for oral cancer, periodontal disease, and other problems. The dentist will also look at each tooth in your mouth to assess problems like tooth decay or cracks, as well as to review existing dental work. Sometimes old dental work wears out and needs to be replaced, and we will also be happy to exchange metal fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns with tooth-colored alternatives. If you have not scheduled a checkup within the last six months, be sure to call Dallas dentist, Ellis L. Ramsey, Jr., DDS, and his team to find out more or schedule your appointment! Children as young as two should visit the dentist, and by the age four or five, a child should attend regular checkups just like adults. We are happy to welcome patients of all ages to visit our office, and we can usually schedule a block of appointments to provide treatment for every member of your family on the same day to ensure maximum convenience.
What to Expect During Dental Checkups
Every patient of Dr. Ramsey receives a personalized dental health care plan created to address their unique oral health care needs. However, patients will typically receive the following treatments during their six month dental checkup:
- Diagnostic images – x-rays and intraoral photos to help us better understand areas for concern and provide earlier diagnosis for oral health conditions.
- Evaluation & screening – we’ll examine the oral and facial structures for warning signs of common oral health conditions, including tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ dysfunction, teeth grinding and clenching, and oral cancer.
- Professional teeth cleanings – our skilled dental professionals will remove plaque and tartar buildup from even the hardest to access parts of the smile.
- One-on-one consultation – you’ll sit down with Dr. Ramsey to discuss any areas of concern we notice during your exam and plan to achieve and maintain the optimal level of oral health.
The Benefits of Six Month Dental Exams & Teeth Cleanings
By looking for oral health issues every six months, we can often reduce your potential for larger dental problems. Unlike some health concerns that will clear up on their own, oral health issues are insidious. That means they will grow or spread when left untreated. For instance, a small cavity can grow to destroy an entire tooth and spread to surrounding teeth without proper treatment, but caught in early stages, a simple filling can fully restore the tooth’s function. A cracked tooth can cause pain or break off and create additional problems, so rather than a simple filling, you may need root canal therapy or even lose a tooth. Gum disease is one of the most common health issues in the US. In the early stages, called gingivitis, this chronic condition is easily treatable with deep cleaning in our office and improved at-home hygiene. The advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis, is the primary cause of tooth loss for American adults and requires significantly more invasive therapies. Oral cancer causes more than 7500 deaths each year. Caught and treated early, these diseases can be controlled or even cured.
In addition to preventing oral health concerns and providing earlier diagnosis for others, visiting the dentist every six months is also the best way to maximize your dental insurance coverage. Most insurance policies offer the greatest percentage of coverage for preventive dentistry services, and because these checkups reduce risk for advanced oral health concerns, you are not as likely to need dentistry services that receive less coverage from your dental benefit plan.
Maximizing Your At-Home Oral Hygiene Routine
In order to keep your smile whole and healthy for life, you need to take care of your smile every day. To ensure you maintain oral health for life, keep the following in mind:
- Brush teeth for at least two minutes at a time at least two times each day
- Brush teeth systematically not randomly to ensure every tooth is thoroughly cleaned
- Use soft bristled toothbrushes and brush gently to avoid damaging soft tissue
- Use fluoridated toothpaste
- Floss at least once each day
- Wear mouthguards to protect teeth during athletic competition and to prevent nighttime teeth grinding and clenching
- Don’t use teeth as tools to open packages
- Don’t chew on hard objects like ice or fingernails