Regular visits to your dentist and preventative dental care are key components to your oral hygiene routine and maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile. At South Charlotte Dentistry, we can’t stress enough why dental checkups, cleanings, and screenings are so important!
Preventative dental care is the actions taken by a patient to prevent oral disease, such as daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and maintaining a healthy diet. Preventative dentistry includes attending regular oral exams, professional teeth cleaning, and monitoring your overall health. With proper preventative dental care, you can avoid or lessen the effects of cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss, periodontitis, and more!
What services are considered preventative dental care?
The following dental services typically are encompassed by preventative dentistry:
- Diagnostic services to catch early signs of oral problems:
- Annual or bi-annual check-ups/oral evaluations
- Assessment of gum health
- Professional teeth cleanings
- Fluoride treatments
- Fittings for night-guards or athletic guards
- Educational instruction from a dentist or dental hygienist
- Spacers or space maintainers for children
- Checking the condition of existing dental works (e.g. fillings, crowns, bridges)
- Preventive resin restorations or decay arresting medication applied to teeth, to prevent decay from developing
- Referrals to orthodontists or other dental specialists
How many times a year should you go to the dentist?
Determining how often a patient should go to the dentist for a professional cleaning and check-up is dependent on the patient’s age, state of teeth/current treatment plan, and other health conditions and factors. Typically, dentists recommend that patients have a routine check-up and professional cleaning every six months or every year.
On top of your daily care for your teeth and gums of brushing and flossing, you still need to visit the dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings. No matter how thoroughly or consistently you brush and floss, plaque still builds up over time and will harden into tartar (which can then lead to cavities and gum disease). Your dentist and dental hygienist have the tools and expertise to give your teeth and gums a deep cleaning and polishing that they need to be healthy. Your dental team may recommend additional cleanings or appointments for the following reasons:
- Pregnancy: Fluctuating hormones in pregnant people can put those expecting at a greater risk for developing gum disease and cavities
- Cancer patients or people taking certain daily medications: Many medications can dry out the mouth and put patients at a greater risk for health conditions
- People with diabetes: Diabetes can contribute to gum and overall oral health.
- People who smoke: Tobacco usage can cause gum disease and oral cancers, as well as make it more difficult for your body to heal following dental procedures and oral surgery.
- Heart patients: Your oral health can affect your overall health, and bacteria in the mouth can even make its way into the heart. Those with poor oral health have higher rates of cardiovascular problems compared to those with healthy mouths.
If you have any of the above conditions, you should talk to your dentist if additional check-ups are needed.
The trained eyes of your dental team will be able to identify oral health problems early on that may not be visible to the untrained eye or even require x-rays to spot. This can include cavities, gingivitis, or oral abnormalities such as tumors and cysts. When caught early, dental problems are often less severe, more affordable to treat and prevent the spread or domino effect into other health problems.
Preventative care is typically covered by your insurance.
Most dental insurance plans prioritize or even fully cover the cost of preventative services, as dental health plays a pivotal role in one’s overall health. Preventative dental services like yearly or bi-annual are often covered at 100%, with no deductibles or copays for the patient. Some plans also don’t count preventative services against an annual maximum.
What is considered preventative dental care?
Most basic restorative services, cosmetic services, or major care procedures are not considered preventative care, meaning they may require paying towards a deductible, co-insurance, or co-pay, depending on your insurance plan. These include fillings, extractions, root canals, dentures, bridges, whitening, veneers, bonding, etc.
Contact your team at South Charlotte Dentistry today.
Did you know that 42% of American adults said they don’t go to the dentist as often as they’d like to? And that 15% of American adults stated they only made their last dentist appointment because they were experiencing tooth pain?
Visiting your dentist regularly for preventative dental care and screenings is essential to having a healthy mouth. Everyone benefits from preventative dentistry, whether it’s children who need extra care and education regarding their newly developing adult teeth or aging adults preserving the health of their teeth. Preventative dental care reduces oral health problems, as well as health problems linked to poor oral health. You will spend less out of your wallet and less time in the dental chair by prioritizing preventative care with South Charlotte Dentistry.