These are by no means the only reasons but they are 5 reasons why I think going to the dentist is super important and 5 reasons why I think people avoid it.
1. At your check up we carry out at an Oral Cancer Screening - important because this is the 17th most common cause of cancer death in the UK
2. We carry out a screening of your gum health which allows us to establish if you have or are at risk of developing gum disease/periodontal disease. From this we will give you the appropriate advice with regards to your oral hygiene regime at home and how often you should see a hygienist
3. Detection of decay whether it be early or advanced. Spotting it early it can mean no restoration…you heard right, early demineralisation in the enamel (outer part if the tooth) can be arrested without the need to remove the decayed portion using our dreaded drill. Detecting decay in teeth also helps to ensure you have the appropriate treatment carried out at the time and can help to avoid the need for more extensive treatment.
4. A thorough examination also detects other issues that may become serious such as problems with your occlusion (bite), tooth grinding and jaw issues. These can lead to pain and discomfort and become challenging to manage.
5. Radiographs (X-Rays) to detect pathology that otherwise would be unknown and hence cause issues in the future such as swelling and infection
And a sneaky sixth reason to visit your dentist...
….6. We like to see you! There have been so many patients who have taught me something new or told me about a place I should visit. This is one of the aspects of being a dentist I love, its nice to have a little bit of chit chat!
1. Needle phobia - its a control thing and I absolutely hear you. I don’t like them either, unless it’s me who is holding the syringe...
2. The ‘school dentist’ has put them off - the school dentist has a lot to answer for in my opinion! I could write a book on the multiple stories I’ve heard about 'him'.
Dentists have changed, I promise!
3. Cost. Private dentistry is expensive but you have to remember that not only are dental materials costly, as well as the expense of running a surgery, dentists have spent years in University followed by continually keeping up to date and expanding our knowledge completing courses. You are paying for a very niche and specialised service.
4. Some people just don’t think they need to aka some people just don’t value their dental health?!?!
5. People don’t like dentists. ‘Its not personal, but I hate the dentist’ - we hear it all day every day! Sometimes it’s hard to not take it personally, although I am beginning to hear it less nowadays which I like.
So, in conclusion, it IS important (even though apparently we are a scary breed) to attend for a dental check up at least once per year.