Why Regular Dental Examinations Are Important
Regular monitoring of your oral health is essential for healthy teeth and gums.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, seeing a dentist every six months or so for a check up is key to maintaining a healthy mouth. Some patients, such as diabetics, for whom gum problems can be more likely, may be requested to have check-ups more frequently to detect and treat any problems that arise much earlier.
One thing that we must emphasise is that if any of our Addlestone patients find that they have a problem between these appointments, they should not simply wait until their check up appointment is due, but call us for a prompt appointment. Depending on the issue, leaving it for a few more months, or even a few weeks, could make all the difference between needing a minor procedure to restore a tooth and a more comprehensive one, or even the loss of the tooth. If you are in doubt, please call us for advice.
At the Synergy Clinic, we do understand that life sometimes gets in the way of appointments that you have already made. If this happens to you and you have to cancel your appointment, please let us know as soon as you possibly can. We also recommend that you book a new appointment at this time so that you don’t ‘let things drift’ and end up not seeing a dentist for a much longer period of time, during which, your oral health situation may have deteriorated.
When you arrive at our Addlestone dental practice for your appointments, we ask that you try to do so at least ten minutes before your appointment time. This not only allows you to arrive in a more relaxed state than if you leave it to the last minute, but also allows time for any relevant paperwork to be completed beforehand. Parents will also probably find that their children will feel more relaxed if they have time to adapt to the environment, rather than going almost from the front door of our practice into the dentist’s chair.
When you are in the examination room, the dentist will ask you a number of questions. These include any changes in your medical circumstances and/or medication. It is very important that you are truthful about this as it could, potentially, affect the type of treatment that we carry out. You can be sure that any information given to us will remain completely secure and confidential.
You will be asked if you have experienced any problems since we last saw you. Once again, please be truthful with the dentist. If you omit to tell us about a problem, simply hoping that it will go away, as it almost certainly won’t. You may well find yourself back at our practice in the not too distant future, for a treatment that is more extensive than if we had been allowed to treat it earlier.
Following these questions, the dentist will then examine your teeth. During this time, notes will be taken by the assistant and you may hear some terminology mentioned that you don’t recognise. You should not be concerned about this and it does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. This is simply a way of maintaining accurate medical records. If there is a problem that needs treating, we will discuss this with you in non-technical terms that are easily understood.
In addition to checking your teeth, we will also examine the health of your gums. This is very important as gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in the UK. Gum disease is also much more straightforward to treat if it is diagnosed in its early stages. If we notice symptoms such as sore or receding gums, we will advise that you see our dental hygienist to have your teeth and gums professionally cleaned. In fact, this is something that we strongly recommend anyway and should be done approximately every six months or so.
We may also ask you about any unusual lumps or markings that we find on your tongue or other soft tissues of the mouth. This is part of our preventative approach to mouth cancer. This is a problem that is on the rise, especially amongst smokers. Dentists are in an excellent position to notice these potential symptoms and we are in the front line to spot this early on.
Some of these symptoms may well be caused by other less serious problems, but if we do detect anything of concern, we will refer you to your GP for further investigation. This is on a ‘better safe than sorry’ basis and does not mean that you have oral cancer. We are simply suggesting that your GP needs to take a look too. In the unfortunate event that the symptoms do prove to be cancerous, early treatment is the best option for treating it effectively.
We do not take x-rays routinely, but will do so at regular intervals to determine if there are any problems with your teeth internally and below the gum line. X-rays may also be used where there are problems with a wisdom tooth or where root canal infections are suspected. X-rays use very low doses of radiation and are perfectly safe in most situations. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding though, please do let us know and we will discuss whether to delay your x-ray or not, depending on individual circumstances.
Professional dental care is important, but it is not the only thing which matters. The way that you look after your teeth at home, and your diet, will also have a major impact on your teeth. Make sure that you have a complete oral health regimen, both by making sure to brush and floss regularly and also seeing both the dentist and hygienist at the Synergy Clinic on a regular basis.
Appointments at our Addlestone dental practice can be made by calling us on 01932 856541. We look forward to seeing you!