In dentistry today, a comprehensive program of preventative dental care is the most important service we can provide our patients. Prevention in its most basic form entails regular cleaning to control plaque and calculus, which inevitably lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Both tooth decay as well as periodontal disease, lead to teeth and gum abscesses, tooth loss, constant discomfort while eating, and exacerbation of systemic diseases such as heart disease, cancers and diabetes, just to name a few. Clinical exams also provide you with oral cancer screenings which is on the rise in America in both young adults (from a Sexually Transmitted Virus known as HPV) as well as older individuals (with smoking, alcohol, and a previous history of cancer being the driving forces). These are generally painless recurrent lesions that individuals often don’t even know that they have. Dentists and hygienists are well trained to examine for these lesions.
Though with age and time you may need some dental work, good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations are essential in the prevention and early detection of problems. You should visit your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and check ups, though patients with more advanced disease will require more frequent visits.