3 Reasons to Make a Yearly Appointment With Your Family Dentist
It’s no secret that going to the dentist causes anxiety in many people. As many as 5-8% of Americans avoid visiting the family dentist out of fear. However, it’s important to remember that regular dental visits are essential to maintaining your oral health, not just for your teeth. Your entire body benefits from oral health and dental checkups.
By scheduling an appointment with your family dentist every six months, you can ensure that any potential issues get caught early and can be addressed quickly and effectively. When it comes to oral health, physical health, finances, and saving time, keeping up with regular visits is essential. Here are three reasons why you should make two trips to the family dentist part of your yearly calendar.
1. Early Detection of Issues
When it comes to oral hygiene, prevention is key. The earlier you catch an issue such as cavities, gum disease, or even oral cancer the easier it is to treat. According to a survey done in 2018 by the CDC, 46% of adults 30 years or older showed signs of gum disease. Visiting your family dentist every year can help ensure any issues are caught early, helping you avoid expensive and potentially invasive treatments.
Even if you don’t notice a cavity, family dentists are trained to identify dental issues like tooth decay. Thanks to X-rays and mouth exams, they can detect the smallest cavity before it gets worse. Early cavity detection by the family dentist will give them time to do a simple filling to stop decay in its tracks. Otherwise, further damage will occur, and you may need a crown or other more expensive treatments. In the early stages of gum disease, family dentists can provide advice and treatments to help reduce inflammation and improve your oral health. Without regular family dentist appointments, these issues may not be noticed until they have progressed to more serious stages. When gum disease isn’t treated in time, it can lead to gingivitis, halitosis, and tooth loss.
Oral cancer is one of the most serious issues family dentists can detect. This type of cancer is often not noticed until it has already spread to other parts of the body, making it much harder to treat. Your family dentist can do a thorough examination of your mouth and look for signs of cancer during regular checkups. So if you are a smoker or have a family history of cancer, it’s especially important to book bi-annual family dentist appointments.
2. Improve Your Overall Health
The family dentist is not just concerned with your teeth; they’re also concerned with your overall health. While a dentist isn’t a doctor, they understand the connection between dental and medical care. Regular family dentist appointments can help identify issues that may not be visible to the naked eye, like high blood pressure or diabetes.
How can a dentist tell if you have high blood pressure or diabetes? During family dentist appointments, family dentists will check your blood pressure and look for signs such as red eyes or dry mouth. If they detect any of these issues during the exam, they may suggest that you make an appointment with your family doctor. This could be a lifesaving tip if you’re unaware of any underlying illness.
High blood pressure affects as many as one in three adults in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. During family dentist appointments, family dentists will also check your gums for signs of inflammation. When your gums are inflamed, it could be a sign of high blood pressure. Hypertension may also make sedation dentistry more dangerous, so family dentists must know your medical history before they treat you.
Diabetes can cause many oral health issues, such as dry mouth and gum disease. During family dentist appointments, your family dentist can check for these signs and make sure that you have the treatment or advice needed to keep diabetes under control. Catching high blood pressure or diabetes early is key to treating it successfully.
Do you notice how your dentist will sometimes check the lymph nodes in your neck? Swollen lymph nodes can signal a few issues such as an infection or even a more serious condition, like cancer. Early family dentist appointments can help family dentists identify any underlying issues that could be present, saving you unnecessary pain and helping to speed up the treatment process. While it may be surprising to come, the state of your teeth can also connect to your heart and lungs. When bacteria accumulate in the mouth and cause gum disease, it can increase the risk of infections in your heart and lungs. Such bacteria may spread to the heart by way of the bloodstream, or to the lungs when you inhale, making regular family dentist appointments a very wise choice.
3. Save Time and Money
A family dentist appointment isn’t just about keeping your family’s teeth healthy; it can also save you time and money in the long run. By catching dental issues early, family dentists can provide preventive treatments or help stop an existing issue from getting worse.
By making sure the whole family goes to the dentist twice a year, family dentists can prevent more costly treatments. For example, a simple filling can stop a cavity in its tracks and is usually fully covered under basic dental insurance. However, if you wait until the tooth turns color or begins breaking or chipping due to decay, your dentist will have to rely on a costlier and time-consuming treatment. So you may have to prepare for a root canal, or even a tooth extraction.
A root canal requires at least a couple of trips to the endodontist’s chair, whereas a regular family dentist appointment could have nipped the issue in the bud while it was still a small cavity. You’ll need even more time and money if anyone in the home needs a crown to go over the tooth. According to Authority Dental, the price of a dental crown can range from $450 to $2500. By the way, that price range is for EACH tooth. Even if you have dental insurance, you’ll usually have to pay some percentage out-of-pocket for endo treatments and crowns.
While tooth extraction is much cheaper than a root canal, it may cost you down the road. Teeth often shift when there is a gap left from a missing tooth. So you may need to consider a dental implant to ease the pressure on the surrounding teeth.
It’s also important to note that in adults 30 years or older, 46% of them showed signs of gum disease. That’s why family dentists suggest you make appointments a priority in your family’s health plan. Catching gum disease early allows dentists to treat it with a simple cleaning along with recommendations for home oral hygiene. Standard professional tooth cleaning is part of basic dental insurance. Even without insurance, the cost of a regular tooth cleaning is much cheaper than what you would have to pay for gum disease treatment.
When gum disease advances, it may be time for intense procedures like deep cleaning below the gum line to remove bacteria and plaque. According to Healthline, deep cleaning can cost between $140 and $300. In advanced cases, periodontal oral surgery may involve removing diseased gum tissue that an oral surgeon will have to replace with gum grafts. The cost of gum graft surgery varies, but be prepared to pay four figures.
Benefits of Having a Family Dentist
Sure, you can go to general dental appointments, but family dentists provide more than just cleanings and dental treatments. They are family health advocates who can give your family the advice they need and suggest the treatments that work best given your family’s situation. Some family dentists even offer family discounts to make appointments more affordable.
Making family dentist appointments a priority makes good sense. Not only can family dentists detect oral health issues, but they can also help children become more accustomed to visiting the dentist regularly and develop good oral hygiene habits. Children may be scared of going to the dental office at first, but family dentists can be your family’s oral health partner and ensure that they grow up with healthy smiles. You may notice that family dental offices often have bright colors and family-friendly decorations to make family dentist visits easier and more enjoyable for younger family members. So consider the overall environment a child needs as they’re introduced to dental care.
Family dentists can also help you with any dental emergency that arises. Whether it’s a family member who cracked a tooth or accidentally knocked it out, these dentists are the ones you should turn to in urgent situations. They can provide advice on the best course of action and get family members back to enjoying their smiles in no time. If you act quickly and preserve the tooth, your dentist may be able to place it back into your child’s mouth while keeping them calm.
When your household utilizes the same dentist, it’s easier to keep track of everyone’s dental history and make sure family members stick to their dentist appointments. If a family member has had previous treatments, the dentist can refer to them and provide family members with the most suitable treatments. The family dentist can treat several generations of the same family and maintain loved ones’ oral health for years to come.
When Kids Should Start Going
The minute you start seeing the first teeth in your family, family dentist appointments should begin. Even if it’s just a check-up to see how their development is going, family dentists can provide advice and tips to help family members’ teeth grow healthy and strong. Even a baby or toddler can experience dental problems, so family dentists can provide advice on how to avoid cavities and gum disease. A family dentist may also be able to detect signs of mouth-breathing, thumb-sucking, and other habits that can lead to poor dental health. As family members get older, these dentists can provide more preventive care and detect family members’ signs of gum disease.
Find a Family Dentist
Making family dentist appointments a priority ensures that family members have healthy smiles to last them a lifetime. It’s important to do your research when selecting a family dentist. Ask family members if they recommend any family dentists. Take time to read online reviews to get an idea of what people are saying about family dentists in your area.
Check ratings on family dentist websites and pay attention to dental offices that prioritize family care, provide family discounts and make families feel comfortable during family dentist appointments. Finally, these dentists should have the right qualifications, certifications, and malpractice insurance to protect family members against any dental mishap.
How Family Dentist Differs from General Dentist
Family dental training and expertise is similar to general dentists, with the addition of family-oriented skills and oral care. Family dentists often have a special touch when dealing with family members, as they take family histories into account and adjust treatments accordingly. Your household can go to a general dental practice or a family specialist. However, as noted previously, family dental practitioners bring something special to your whole group.
Your family dental appointments are essential to the health of everybody in your home. Not only can family dentists help you keep your teeth and gums healthy, but they can also detect other health problems. Visiting family dentists can help spot any potential issues early and ensure you get the medical care you need to stay healthy. Whether you are elderly, a teenager, or a toddler, family dentists can help everyone maintain good oral health. If you’re looking for a dental office to cater to the oral health of your loved ones, you need a professional you can trust. Contact our caring dental office today, where our team looks forward to assisting your family with their dental care for years to come.