Time is at a premium for everyone. On most days scheduling the necessities like work and home responsibilities tend to max out even the most ambitious person. When you’re sick or injured it’s a no-brainer you should book an appointment as soon as you can get one. Unfortunately, the last on many people’s list is bi-annual dental hygiene appointments. Remarkably about 100 million Americans each year skip dental appointments altogether.
Is it really that important? You diligently execute a solid at-home oral hygiene routine, so is it really that important to do bi-annual dental cleanings? Our own Dr. Emmanuel Aguilar at American Dental Clinic answers with a resounding “Yes!”
The elephant in the room is that a lot more happens at a typical bi-annual dental appointment than just teeth cleaning. Yes, the dentist or hygienist performs a professional cleaning, removing plaque buildup and any staining that you can’t remove with personal at-home oral care. But there’s so much more.
Your provider also performs a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth including an oral cancer screening. Your dentist also checks for any signs of tooth decay or issues with your bite or problems like cracked or chipped teeth or failing restorations like crowns or fillings. In addition to a physical examination, your provider may take X-rays to get a comprehensive view of your oral health.
One of the crucial parts of this deep dive is checking the health of your gums. During this part of the bi-annual appointment, your provider uses a probe to measure the space or pocket between your teeth and gums. The scale runs from one to five. The goal is for your teeth to fit snugly, so measurements of one and two are great. If measurements are in the higher range you may have gum disease. Fortunately, gum disease is treatable and reversible in the early stages.
Similarly, bi-annual appointments are great for detecting tooth decay and staving off dental emergencies like root canals or extractions. By monitoring the health of your teeth and gums on a regular basis you can keep an eye on or resolve a small issue way before it becomes a huge, painful, and potentially expensive problem. If you ever experienced a toothache you know all too well that avoiding that pain again is definitely worth taking time in your schedule to keep your bi-annual dental visit.
In addition to benefiting your oral health, faithfully keeping your bi-annual dental appointments can also help you maintain your overall health. For decades researchers have touted the connection between oral health and systemic health. In fact, back in 2000 in the U.S. Surgeon General’s oral health report he acknowledged the link between oral conditions like gum disease and systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and pregnancy complications, and called for more research.
Remarkably, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90% of all systemic diseases like heart and kidney disease, diabetes, and cancer have oral symptoms such as mouth ulcers, dry mouth, and gum maladies.
So the next time you think about canceling your bi-annual dental cleaning, just remember it’s about more than bright, healthy teeth. To schedule your cleaning and checkup, use our online booking tool or calling American Dental Clinic in San Diego today at 858-216-4662.