At Smiles by Holsinger and Higgins, we are committed to preventative dental care, which is why we recommend a checkup every six months. Most dental problems start small then go through a rapid growth phase. Regular checkups enable us to catch the following problems before they become serious conditions:

  • Plaque buildup
  • Gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Cracked or leaking fillings
  • Malocclusion

Signs of periodontal disease
Signs of periodontal disease
A visible cavity
A visible cavity

Serious Conditions Begin As Treatable Problems

Plaque, which is a sticky film of food particles and bacteria, forms constantly on your teeth and can harden into tartar in as few as 24 hours. Even with proper brushing and flossing, most people aren’t able to remove all of the plaque, eventually resulting in tartar buildup. Here are other examples of problems that are easily treated when you visit your dentist every six months:

  • Plaque and tartar buildup are the main causes of gingivitis, which is an inflammation that makes gums swell and bleed. Gingivitis is reversible, but if it’s not treated, it can lead to periodontal disease, an infection that causes receding gums, bone loss, and sometimes tooth loss.
  • The bacteria in plaque also causes tooth decay. A small cavity can easily be fixed, but if it grows into the softer, inner dentin layer of the tooth, it can reach the pulp chamber of the tooth and cause pain and further infection.
    Failed fillings can also lead to more decay. Unless it’s treated early, decay will most likely lead to a need for root canal treatment and crowns.
  • Misaligned or missing teeth can contribute to problems with the jaw joint, such as pain and soreness, difficulty in opening and closing your mouth, and earaches.

Regular Checkups Allow Us To Treat Problems Early

To keep these dental problems from becoming serious, we recommend twice yearly checkups. Regular cleanings enable us to keep tartar from accumulating on your teeth. During your regular visits, we will also perform a thorough exam to check your gums, measure the bone levels around your teeth, look for cavities, check your restorations, and examine your bite.

Regular exams are the best way to eliminate the growth phase of dental problems and minimize the time and money you spend in the dental chair.

Copyright © 2005, Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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