Your regular dental checkup appointment probably isn’t the one you look forward to the most on your calendar. We understand, but it may be one of the most important ones you have. If the cost, dental anxiety, a busy schedule, or some other reason have you considering skipping your appointment, you need to be sure to consider all the risks.
What’s in a Checkup?
Most of us think a checkup is for finding cavities in our teeth. That’s true — finding decay before it becomes a major issue is a major reason for regular checkups. But there is more to it than that. There are typically two parts to a checkup — an examination and a cleaning. Let’s start with the cleaning.
- Brushing and flossing help remove plaque from your teeth, but tartar may still build up at the gum line or in hard-to-reach spots. Tartar can’t be removed at home. Regular cleanings prevent the tartar from eroding teeth or contributing to gum disease. We use special tools to remove tartar in a process called scaling. Prevention is the best defense when it comes to your oral health.
- Prevention is what the examination is all about. Besides looking for signs of decay, in an examination we will look for signs of oral cancer. We are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms, and like any cancer, early detection is key to effective treatment. During an exam, your neck and lymph nodes will be checked, and if warning signs are present, we can refer you to an appropriate professional, if necessary.
- We also look for signs of gum disease. Early onset gum disease, or gingivitis, is treatable and reversible. Ignoring gum disease, however, can lead to a more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis, which is more difficult to treat and could result in the loss of teeth, or worse.
- If it has been a while since you’ve had an x-ray, we may do some imaging to see what is going on underneath the surface.
Be Proactive — Get Regular Checkups
Prevention and early detection through regular checkups can save you time, pain, and money. Don’t blow off a dental appointment. If it’s time for a checkup and you are in Uvalde, Texas, or the surrounding area, we would be proud to help you improve your dental hygiene and your smile with a thorough checkup. Contact my office for an appointment today!