Here is something about having a regular dental check up to chew on …
Whether you have had extensive dental treatment and spent lots of money on your teeth, or whether you enjoy an apparently sound healthy dentition (or something in between), all teeth have one thing in common. They are constantly bathed by saliva in a warm wet environment and they are constantly subjected to exposure to the normal bacteria in the mouth.
Without effective home care of regular tooth brushing and flossing, sticky plaque accumulates on the teeth. This plaque is the cause of both tooth decay and gum inflammation. It only takes 24 hours for plaque accumulate. Hence thorough brushing twice a day is essential after breakfast and before going to sleep. That’s personal responsibility that is not negotiable .
Restored teeth are more vulnerable to recurrent decay and long-term breakdown. How many times do you want the same tooth to be worked on in the course of a lifetime? Teeth are important to you.
In spite of the best efforts in home care plaque continues to accumulate and calcify silently and painlessly. Regular professional care which may be indicated 3 monthly; 6 monthly; or if you are lucky 12 monthly will eliminate the calcified plaque (calculus) and will encourage you in ensuring effective toothbrushing. It’s how long you spend and how you hold the brush that requires regular reinforcing. That’s why you need to see a dentist or hygienist for a regular dental check up. It is for your benefit.
So knowing all this, why continue to spend the time and money on a recall/maintenance visit? Is there a benefit? Dental treatment is costly and perhaps you have invested a great deal of time and money. Like all investments it needs looking after.
It bears constant repetition… Teeth are designed to last a lifetime but teeth that have been filled have a shortened life expectancy. Potential problems can be detected early on and treated accordingly. No man-made material is a substitute for the natural tooth. Prevention is better than cure.
How long will a restored tooth last? Well that depends on many factors:
- Regular professional review of the status of your teeth
- Excellence in home care
- Clinical excellence in the placing of the appropriate restoration.
Is a regular dental check up cost effective? It certainly is. Work out your annual expenditure for a six monthly recall visit and divide by 12. Is R8.00 /day excessive to set aside for your teeth? You probably spend more than that each day on cappuccino or chewing gum.
That is certainly something to chew on and smile about. Your teeth are important to you. Please don’t neglect them.