Oral Health Issue Prevention Is Cheaper than Treatment

Jamie J. Alexander on February 20, 2018

Many people feel that they must have dental insurance in order to afford dentistry. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 36% of adults have gone over a year without seeing a dentist. Don’t le this happen to you.

Semi-annual check-ups catch problems early before they progress, and prophylactic dental cleanings significantly help in the control of gum disease and dental decay. In comparison, the costs of treatment can mount up quickly when problems are not diagnosed and treated early.

Never become lax about your home oral hygiene. Brushing after meals and at bedtime… and flossing once a day with dental floss or a water flosser are also important for maintaining your oral health.

If you have had restorative treatment, for example, fillings, a crown or crown and bridge treatment, or dental implants, they should be examined every six months to identify problems that might be emerging around and under those restorations. The latest American Dental Association guidelines emphasize the need to have dental restorations examined every six months, in order to treat emerging problems early, avoid dental emergencies, and avoid more costly treatment for tooth loss. A thorough examination of your dental restorations is always part of your semi-annual oral health exam.

Preventing Oral Health Issues

A full array of dental x-rays is an essential part of preventive care, in order to discover problems early. Typically, they are recommended every 12 months. In addition to these x-rays, there are circumstances when a specific image is indicated at the onset of a problem, such as a painful tooth. So even if you have had annual x-rays, additional images may be helpful at another dental visit. It depends on your oral health circumstances and more.

Oral cancer screening is part of your semi-annual checkups. It cannot be stressed enough that early detection of any signs of oral cancer leads to early diagnosis and treatment that minimizes the discomfort of oral cancer treatment and saves lives.

Regular oral care is important for children as well as adults. A healthy mouth and minimal tooth decay during childhood leads to a healthier mouth in adulthood. Give your children a healthy start in life that will result in less dental costs over their lifetime. Every six months, children should have their teeth and gums examined and their teeth professionally cleaned. Baby teeth matter. Decay affects the health of the permanent teeth that have not yet emerged. Early loss of baby teeth negative affects the spacing of permanent teeth when they emerge and also can delay permanent tooth eruption. Children who experience dental discomfort suffer socially and have difficulty focusing on school lessons. As a parent you want the best for your child and to treat oral health problems as early as possible. Stay on a regular schedule of dental visit.

As we age, our adult oral health changes. Wear and tear on teeth and erosion of dental enamel can occur even if we have the best brushing and flossing habits… and have our teeth cleaned and checked every six months. There are many factors that affect the health of your teeth and the soft tissue of your mouth, even the periodontal bone that holds your teeth, and the jaw joints and muscles that allow you to function. These factors include systemic disease… diet… genetics… occlusal biting forces… medications… accidental injury and more. An adult who has been stable for three decades without need for a filling or crown may suddenly reach the tipping point of enamel erosion and find they have sensitive teeth. An adult whose large filling “held their tooth together” for over a decade, may suddenly have a large crack in the tooth due have normal chewing forces… normal wear and tear. Regular visits to the dentist will disclose the potential for this occurring as soon as possible and allow for the most conservative and least costly treatment.

Fluoride treatment is not just for children. Adults benefit from fluoride treatments, too. Don’t be surprised if your hygienist informs you about this low-cost preventive treatment the next time your teeth are thoroughly examined and cleaned. Fluoride treatment is safe. It makes your enamel stronger. Not only does remineralization of the enamel, fight tooth decay, it reduces and can sometimes completely eliminate tooth sensitivity.

When you visit Jamie J. Alexander, DDS, we are happy to answer all your oral health questions. Spending time with patients is part of our mission. Getting to know you, informing you, and inspiring you to greater health gives us joy.