Regular visits to a dentist for preventive care are an important part of oral care and necessary if you want to maintain strong, healthy teeth throughout your life. Plus, you’ll always have a beautiful smile! Preventative dentistry dental exams and cleanings keep your teeth clean and identify any issues before they turn into major issues. We generally recommend that our patients come in every six months for a routine appointment.
As part of a routine dental visit, you will receive a dental cleaning from one of our friendly dental hygienists. We use specialized dental instruments to carefully remove any harmful cavity-causing plaque or tartar from your teeth before polishing your pearly whites to remove stains and get them looking bright and shiny. A final fluoride treatment gives your teeth an extra boost of protection and strength.
In addition to a full dental cleaning, you will also receive a comprehensive dental exam. This is an opportunity for your dental professional to check for any oral issues that need treatment or intervention. Catching and responding to problems early on can save you pain, discomfort, and money down the road. During a dental exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will take x-rays of your mouth, which allows us to see detailed images of specific teeth and check for bone loss, cysts, and tumors.
During a dental exam, we check for:
Gum Disease. Periodontitis, also referred to as gum disease, weakens the gums and supportive bones surrounding your teeth. Early-stage periodontitis is not uncommon, but treatment and proper oral care are effective against it. If not treated, it can lead to your teeth loosening or falling out, as well as increase the risk of heart and lung disease.
Cavities and Tooth Decay. Using specialized tools, we closely check the entire surface of every tooth in your mouth for signs of tooth decay. Decay is damage to the enamel of your tooth. If untreated, it can lead to cavities as well as pain, infection, and even tooth loss.
Imperfect Restoration. Restorative work such as crowns, fillings, and permanent retainers should still be in good shape and fitting correctly. If we spot any issues with this hardware, we will flag it for replacement.
Regular dental exams can be beneficial to your overall health as well. Gum disease can lead to a wide variety of physical symptoms elsewhere in the body, and signs of lupus, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases can sometimes show up in the mouth before diagnosis.
At the end of your dental exam, Dr. Douglas F. Smith or one of our hygienists will go over any findings with you and may make recommendations for improving your oral hygiene and care going forward. They will also recommend a plan for future care and a timeline for your next appointment. The recommended frequency of dentist visits will depend on multiple factors, including your age, overall oral health, and the risk or presence of gum disease or tooth decay.
It’s generally recommended that you visit a professional dentist two times per year for cleaning and a check-up. However, some patients with more issues present may need a more frequent schedule. Our dental team can help you stay up-to-date on your appointment schedule and know if there’s anything else that may warrant an additional visit.
If you go for long periods without professional dental care, any issues that arise with your teeth or gums will go undiagnosed and untreated. This can result in severe tooth decay and pain. If periodontal disease (a disease of the gums) is allowed to progress without treatment, it can result in mouth odor, painful and swollen gums, tooth loss, and jawbone deterioration. This type of disease can even affect areas of your body other than the mouth. It has also been linked to other serious issues including heart attack, diabetes complications, stroke, and more. Fortunately, early diagnosis and corrective action can prevent these risks.
Absolutely. We use x-rays to identify any potential problems with your teeth, gums, or jaw, and the process is completely safe for patients. In fact, you’re likely to be exposed to more radiation during a typical airplane ride than by a dental x-ray machine.
Many children and adults experience feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear associated with receiving dental care, and that’s normal. We get it– it can seem scary! However, the office of Dr. Douglas F. Smith works hard to put each of our patients at ease, and we specialize in providing friendly, personalized care that can significantly reduce anxiety throughout your visit. For particularly severe cases of anxiety, we offer safe sedation dentistry services that can greatly increase patient comfort and reduce fear.
GET EXPERIENCED PREVENTATIVE
Dentist appointments can be stressful, but they don’t have to be! Based in Logan, Utah, the dental office of Douglas F. Smith, DDS is staffed with friendly and compassionate dental professionals who will put you at ease and give you the highest quality of care. We make every effort to ensure each of our patients feels welcomed and listened to when they visit our office. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.