Preventive Dentistry Can Help You Maintain Your Oral Health

Many patients wait until they need emergency treatment to visit their dentist, resulting in stressful and potentially expensive scenarios. Preventive dentistry is intended to address oral health concerns before the onset of symptoms and help patients maintain a healthy smile throughout their lives. Dr. Kenneth W. Coffey recommends regular exams for patients of all ages in Orland Park, IL, to help them maintain their natural teeth for years to come. 

Blurred woman smiling with toothbrush and toothpaste in foreground Coupled with at-home care, regular dental visits are the best way to protect your oral health.

The Importance of Regular Examinations 

Although most health organizations recommend visiting the dentist every six months, the actual frequency of dental checkups should be determined by your dentist based on your specific needs. A statement released by the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that patients with habits such as smoking and preexisting conditions like diabetes and genetic variations should visit the dentist more often because of a higher risk of oral health complications. 

During a dental examination, we will perform a series of tests to evaluate your dental and periodontal health: 

  • X-rays: Advanced imaging can help us identify potential cavities and abnormalities that may not be visible to the untrained eye. 
  • Oral cancer screening: During your exam, we will check for signs of oral cancer by performing thorough visual screenings. 

Based on the condition of your smile, we may recommend preventive treatments to help you maintain your oral health: 

Cleaning 

Even if you practice regular flossing and brushing at home, a professional cleaning can help eliminate stubborn plaque, tartar, and buildup with the use of professional tools and technology. A regular cleaning can help you prevent cavities and gum disease by removing decay and tartar before it spreads to your gums and requires a more invasive treatment like root canal therapy or root scaling and planing. 

Aside from the financial benefits, there are functional and aesthetic advantages to scheduling regular preventive exams.

Sealants and Fluoride Treatments 

Although fluoride treatments are an especially popular procedure for children, they can also help adults strengthen their enamel and protect their teeth against stains and erosion. Fluoride treatments may be especially beneficial for you if you have certain dental defects or eat highly acidic foods that can be detrimental to your enamel, leaving your teeth exposed to bacteria and stains. 

Sealants are also a popular preventive treatment for both adults and children and have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80 percent. Both fluoride and sealant treatments are cost-effective, quick, and painless ways to protect your teeth from decay, tooth loss, and more expensive restorative treatments. 

Benefits of Preventive Examinations 

Practicing regular preventive examinations can save you time and money in the future. Regular checkups allow us to identify issues before they progress into stages that require expensive restorations. According to another study conducted by the ADA, a standard exam by a general dentist has an average cost of $44 compared to the cost of a dental crown needed to restore a badly damaged tooth, which can cost over $1,000. Other restorative procedures for missing teeth such as dental implants also require lengthy healing periods and sedation. These procedures can have a bigger impact on your wallet than a preventive exam does. 

Aside from the financial benefits, there are functional and aesthetic advantages to scheduling regular preventive exams. Addressing concerns early on and establishing a good oral hygiene routine with your dentist can help you preserve your natural teeth in a clean, healthy state for years to come.

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late 

Regular exams can help you preserve your natural smile and protect your teeth from future health issues, saving you both time and money. Call our office at (708) 403-7888 or contact us online to discuss our preventive care options. 

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