If you haven't been to the dentist for a couple of years or even longer, then it is important to visit one soon to get a check-up and teeth cleaning. If you have skipped several of those dental check-ups that are important to obtain every six months, then it may be due to having a busy schedule. However, remember that when you visit the dentist twice a year, cavities and other oral health problems can be caught and treated early, which will save you time in the end when you don't have to obtain a lengthy root canal procedure for a much deeper cavity or another extensive procedure that could have been avoided with early treatment.
In addition, there have been many advances in dental technology in recent years that make check-ups faster and easier than ever. Read on to learn about two of them.
1. Digital X-rays Can Be Taken Right in the Dental Chair
After neglecting to visit the dentist for years, your dentist will likely need to take a full set of dental x-rays to check for any dental problems that have developed since your last visit. Dental x-rays are important for detecting dental problems that are not visible to the naked eye, such as decay underneath existing cavity fillings, bone loss in your jaw, and even tumors that could signal oral cancer development.
However, if you are not a fan of dental x-rays for any reason, then you may be surprised when your dentist is able to take them quickly and easily right in your dental chair. Many dentists are now using digital x-ray technology, and they can take digital x-rays much more quickly than standard ones. You won't have to wear a heavy lead bib while your dentist is taking them, and you also won't have to bite down on any piece of plastic that are used to hold x-ray film when traditional x-rays are taken.
Digital x-rays are very accurate, so you don't have to worry about losing x-ray accuracy in favor of convenience.
2. Lasers Help Dentists Find Cavities Earlier and Quicker
During past dental visits, you may remember your dentist using their eyes and a dental explorer, which is a metal instrument with a thin hook on the end, to check your teeth for cavities in the past. While effective, this technique takes a bit of time, and with a busy schedule, you may have wished this part of the check-up could be performed faster.
Lasers are being used more and more in dentistry, and for years, dentists have used them in place of scalpels during gum surgery procedures and even to sterilize teeth during root canal procedures. Now, dental professionals have discovered that diode lasers help dentists detect cavities of all shapes and sizes much more quickly and easily than other cavity-detection methods. All a dentist has to do is wave a special wand over the surfaces of your teeth to check them for cavities, and the wand sends the "information" about your teeth that it collects to a special machine that produces a special read-out that informs your dentist where cavities are located in your mouth.
Your dentist can then zoom in on only the specific areas of your teeth that the machine informs them are developing decay during a visual exam and then decide whether the decay has progressed to the point where a cavity filling is needed or if it is a small area of decay that may respond to fluoride treatments and toothpaste.
If you haven't been to the dentist in years due to just not feeling like you have time in your busy schedule, then realize that visiting the dentist every six months can actually save you time in the end when small oral problems are caught and treated early before they become big problems. In addition, new technology has made dental check-ups faster and easier for patients, and you may be surprised at just how fast a dentist, such as David Jackson, DDS, can perform your next dental check-up with brand-new dental technology.