Have You Had Your Regular Dental Check-up?
A reminder to patients who may have had to cancel an appointment.
Most patients of Mike Allen’s Dental Practice are fully aware of the importance of their six monthly dental examinations. Whilst most do keep to this routine, there will always be instances when someone has to cancel or rearrange because something else crops up. We do understand this and will try to accommodate you with another suitable appointment when you ring to cancel. But please do try to give us at least 48 hours notice, where possible.
Occasionally, patients are unable to commit to a new appointment date due to circumstances out of their control, and may not know their availability for a few weeks. This often leads to them telling us that they will call us in a few weeks time to rearrange, once things are more settled. Unfortunately, not everyone does so, perhaps forgetting, and this can sometimes lead to a very long period of time without seeing one of our Burton dentists for a routine dental examination.
A gradual decline
If a major problem, such as a broken tooth, arises during this time, then this is likely to jolt the person into action, probably calling the dentist for an emergency appointment. For most people though, a slow and gradual decline in their oral health is more likely. This often means that no obvious problems will be evident and gives them no cause to be reminded that they need to see a dentist.
A tooth does not suddenly develop a large cavity, but typically starts with a very tiny amount of decay. With good home oral care, its development can be slowed down, but it will eventually become larger and may eventually lead to a severe toothache. By this stage, a large filling or even an extraction may be the only treatment possible. Root canal infections may also occur, leading to the need for root canal surgery.
As with decay, gum diseases become problematic over a period of time. Indeed, most of us will have some level of gum disease at some time or another during our lives, perhaps when we are ill and neglect our teeth a little. In many cases, returning to a regular cleaning regimen will correct the problem. In order to effectively monitor and prevent any serious gum issues, regular six monthly cleans by our Burton dental hygienist are highly recommended. Although there are some common symptoms relating to gum disease, such as sore or bleeding gums, this is not always the case and gum disease can be ‘silent’, especially in its earlier stages.
As part of your regular dental check, we now also examine the soft tissues of the mouth for any potential symptoms of mouth cancer. This is a growing problem, despite the reduction in the amount of people who smoke (reference 1). Anything that causes concern should then be seen by your GP for further investigation. As with most illnesses, the success of the treatment often depends on early diagnosis. If you miss your dental examinations, you could be putting more than your teeth at risk!
Just a gentle reminder to anyone who is expecting a child, that you are at a greater risk of gum disease due to hormonal changes at this time. Although we do appreciate that, for some women, pregnancy can be a very difficult time, and seeing a dentist may be the last thing you feel like doing, it is really important that you do so. This is not only to prevent the harm that gingivitis and periodontitis can do to your teeth and gums, but gum diseases have also been linked with issues such as miscarriages and low birth weight. We recommend that when you find out that you are pregnant, you contact Mike Allen’s Dental Practice so that we can discuss your oral health plan during the pregnancy, aiding a healthy outcome for both yourself and your baby.
Getting back into a routine
Whether you are one month or one year (or more) overdue to have a dental check up, it is always best to act straight away. We understand that sometimes things get in the way and we will not ‘judge’ you for not seeing the dentist for a longer period of time. The most important thing by far is that you make an appointment and get yourself back on track. Where any treatment is needed to achieve this, you can be sure that you will be in good hands at our established practice in Burton Upon Trent. Once any restorative treatment has been carried out, please do make sure to re-establish your six monthly visits.
If you have missed a dental appointment and this blog has reminded you, why not pick up the phone whilst it is fresh in your mind and give us a call straight away? You can speak to a receptionist by calling 01283 845345 who will arrange a suitable appointment date for you.Google+