Why checkups are essential
Many people do not visit the dentist regularly. Some go only when they are in pain or have an emergency. By doing this, patients think they are saving money when in fact it can end up costing them more in time and money. Most dental problems do not show symptoms until they reach the advanced stages. Such as cavities. When a cavity first starts it is small. Treatment for this would be a simple filling. When the decay is left untreated, it starts to grow. Eventually it can reach the nerve of the tooth. When this happens, the tooth needs a root canal and crown. Something that first started small and only cost a couple hundred dollars now needs more extensive treatment can could run into the thousands.
Another reason to have checkups and xrays done regularly is so the health of the gums can be checked. When your teeth and gums go a long period of time without a professional cleaning they become inflamed and irritated. The gums swell open and can bleed. This is due to the accumulation of bacteria. Most bacteria is removed from brushing and flossing, but some goes beneath the gums where you cannot reach. This is where your hygienist comes in. They use special instruments and a machine called a Cavitron to reach the areas you cannot. If your teeth are not cleaned regularly the bacteria builds up. At a certain point the bacteria reaches the bone. This is called periodontal disease. When this happens the bone can start to pull away from the teeth. Over time the teeth loosen which can result in tooth loss. There is no pain or discomfort that is present with periodontal disease. Most patients aren’t even aware they have it.