Short term thinking can lead to painful problems later on.
According to a new report recently out, 14% of working people in the UK feel that they are too busy to see a dentist.
This is quite a shocking statistic and one which seems to confirm the belief of many dentists that some people don’t consider their oral health to be that important. These may well be the same people who don’t consider that they have a problem with their teeth until they are in severe pain with a toothache. As dental professionals though, we know that there is a lot that can go wrong before that toothache strikes.
The team at the Confidental Clinic in Purley put a high emphasis on preventative oral health care. We feel that, barring accidents, generally speaking there are no real reasons why anyone should not have a strong and healthy set of teeth. Although some of this is down to how the patient cares for them at home, professional observation is also necessary.
Regular check ups
A key part of your preventative oral care plan should include a visit to your dentist every six months for a check up. This may be more frequent if you suffer from certain medical conditions that make oral health problems more likely. Your dental check is a way of seeing how well you are caring for your teeth, and to spot any problems before they develop too far and require more significant treatment.
We also advise our Purley patients to have a scale and polish, carried out by our hygienist every six months or so. This is an effective and inexpensive way of keeping both teeth and gums in good health, and helping to prevent gum disease.
Just a little filling
Although most of us might acknowledge that sugar is bad for our teeth, most of us will also probably have a sweet tooth to some degree. Even with the best cleaning in the world, eating sweets and chocolates on a regular basis is likely to mean that you will end up with some cavities.
In the early stages, these cavities are likely to be very small. Providing that you see us regularly for a check up, these types of minor cavities can usually be treated with a simple filling. These can also be carried out using cosmetic dental fillings that match the colour of the natural tooth. This is a quick and relatively comfortable procedure, usually aided with the use of a local anaesthetic.
For those who don’t see a dentist regularly however, the small cavity will get larger and larger, and although it may be some time before a toothache occurs, the damage will still have been done. At this stage, patients often ring us for an emergency appointment; something that could have been avoided through more regular visits.
Larger fillings and other treatments
When a cavity is larger, it goes without saying that the filling needed to restore the tooth will be too. This can mean a longer and perhaps less comfortable experience for the patient. It may also lead to a weakening of the tooth which could cause problems in the future, especially if it is a rear tooth that is affected. The problem may also go deeper than that. Where the dentin section of the tooth is exposed, this means that bacteria and infections can reach the root canals of the teeth. When this happens, the tooth can only be restored using a root canal procedure. In some cases, the tooth may be so badly infected as to require extraction.
However busy you are, seeing the dentist for a six monthly check up takes little time out of your life. It is important to have strong and healthy teeth and obviously better to not wake up in the night in agony with a painful tooth!
Make sure that you are registered with a dentist for your regular checkups. If you are not, and live in the Purley area of Surrey, why not call the Confidental Clinic today on 020 8660 8923.