Sometimes patients are tempted to put off a visit to the dentist because they’re not experiencing any discomfort or any other problematic symptoms. Unfortunately, this course of action actually increases the likelihood that the patient will develop dental pain and need a more radical intervention like a tooth extraction.
When a patient sees a dentist twice a year, as is recommended, the dentist has more opportunity to detect potential problems in their earliest stages before they cause significant damage to the tooth or other oral structures. Additionally, periodic cleanings can help to lower the patient’s risk of developing a problem because that activity helps to limit the presence of harmful oral bacteria.
Postponing treatment of a condition like tooth decay or gum disease can lead to serious consequences, as well. Waiting to address a cavity, for example, the decay may progress to the extent that the only possibly treatment is a tooth extraction. The bacteria can even advance more and attack the underlying bone, threatening the stability of the smile.
At that point, the patient is not only faced with tooth loss but also with the decision to pursue a possible surgical treatment, such as the placement of dental implants. Although dental implants offer the best available technology for tooth replacement, it’s still preferable for patients to keep their biological teeth. Getting routine dental care in a timely fashion can help them to do so.
Furthermore, in cases of advanced oral diseases, patients may need to consult with a specialist like an oral surgeon or a periodontist if the issue is beyond the scope of a family dentist’s practice. Multiple appointments with multiple practitioners can be inconvenient for a busy patient’s schedule.
Dental patients should get routine care, like exams and cleanings, every six months even if they are not experiencing symptoms. Doing so helps to protect your oral health and reduces the likelihood that you’ll need a more invasive treatment.