Most people think that dental checks are just something that you have to schedule from time to time. Ideally, you go in, the dentist cleans your teeth, and then you leave — scheduling your next appointment far enough out that you won’t have to think about it for the greater part of the next year.
While yes, regular teeth cleanings are important, that is not the only reason that we suggest that you come to see our Vancouver dental care office at least once a year. In today’s blog post we will be discussing the five most important reasons that you should visit our Vancouver dental care office more often than you likely already do.
Oral Cancer Detection
Most people think of regular dental visits as a formality — as if all we are only cleaning your teeth and looking for cavities. In reality, regular dental visits are much the same as preventative care visits to your physician. During a dental visit, we are always looking for signs of degrading oral health, whether that be cavities or the potential development of oral cancer.
Oral cancer is an extremely serious disease that can manifest itself in many different ways. Sometimes, oral cancer is immediately detectable to you, as a cancerous mass will grow to a size that you can physically feel. Other times, oral cancer can be more difficult to diagnose.
As a dental services provider, our staff is specially trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, and it is our goal to recognize it during its earlier stages — but we can only do that if you come to visit us at least once a year.
Plaque, Tartar, and Cavity Detection
“But Doctor Kelstrom! I brush so well! I even floss daily!” is something that we hear quite often when our patients are told that they have an accumulation of plaque, tartar, or the presence of cavities. While we greatly appreciate our patients that take their tooth and gum health seriously, it is important to recognize that even the most diligent brushers and flossers are still at risk for the development of cavities, tartar, and plaque.
Over time, even the cleanest mouths can develop harmful bacteria or deteriorate from wear and tear. In order to avoid hearing “I am afraid that you have (insert dental issue here),” it is important to come and see your Vancouver dental care provider more often.
Gum Disease Detection
When people hear about plaque and tartar, they tend to think about the dental hygienist scraping their teeth — making that cringe-worthy “nails on a chalkboard” sound. While yes, plaque and tartar are best known for accumulating on your teeth, they can also cause gum disease.
Gum disease may sound like a scary thing to have, being that the word “disease” usually has some terrible connotations, but it is not always a big deal, and can usually be corrected with a cleaning and a change in dental habits. That being said, the things that gum disease can do if it is not quickly checked are much scarier.
Gum disease is the breakdown of gum tissue where the gum meets the tooth. If gum disease festers for a long time and goes unchecked, it can result in teeth loosening or falling out altogether. Now, we probably do not need to tell you how expensive a dental procedure would be if your teeth are loose or falling out — so why not avoid it altogether and come to see us at our Vancouver dental care office more often.
Head, Neck, And Lymph Node Inspection
Oral cancer can develop quickly, or even influence the development of other cancers in nearby areas of your body like your head, neck, or lymph nodes. While this might seem like something you can do at home — being that you can see your head and neck by simply looking in the mirror — our dental service providers are specially trained to look for signs of cancer that might be more subtle than you think.
Lymph nodes, however, are a little more difficult to check, being that they span through parts of your neck like a web underneath your skin. If your dental care provider thinks that they see an irregularity, they might feel your lymph nodes to search for signs of abnormalities.
Okay, so we may not have x-ray vision, per se, but we do have x-ray technology that can provide us with insight as to what is going on in places that can’t be seen normally. Take, for instance, that you have pain originating near your molars or a sensitivity near the root of a tooth. Rather than simply looking in the mirror and saying “I don’t see anything. I must be fine!” you can come to visit our Vancouver dental care office and we can truly get down to the bottom of why your teeth hurt or have become sensitive.
X-rays can determine if there is deep root damage, or even if you have a wisdom tooth that is hindered from rising properly. By regularly scheduled dental visits, we can have a better idea of seeing what is going on beneath the surface of your gums.
Have You Scheduled your Appointment Yet?
The point of this blog post was not to scare you into scheduling a dental appointment. But if it did — scheduling an appointment is probably a good idea.
At Hazel Dell Dental Care in Vancouver, Washington, we offer a number of dental services ranging from general cleanings to preventative care and cosmetic dentistry. If you are looking for a new dental care provider, or even if you are a current patient of ours that is looking to schedule an appointment, we urge you to contact us today.
We look forward to seeing you and helping you protect your happy and healthy smile.