What if we told you the more often you see your dentist, the less you’ll spend on dentistry? We know it sounds like a contradiction, but that is the power of preventive dentistry.
We recommend that you visit us at least twice a year for teeth cleaning appointments, which also includes a basic exam. You’ll hear dental professionals refer to this kind of appointment as prophylaxis (prophy for short), which is a word that comes from a Greek term that means “guard”. The services we perform during your teeth cleaning and checkup are intended to guard against the spread and development of disease, particularly tooth decay and gum disease.
Think of your preventive dental care in terms of this metaphor: you’re at home and a bad rain storm is coming. What would you rather respond to, a weather report telling you that there is a flood warning, or three feet of water in your living room? Wouldn’t you want the early warning so you have time to place sandbags to keep the water out?
As a dental patient, which would you rather have, a dental hygienist gently removing plaque and tartar from your teeth, or the dentist telling you that your tooth is too far gone to be saved and has to be removed?
We say this not to scare you and not as a threat, but because we want you to think of preventive dentistry as an early warning system for your mouth. We’d rather let you know about the risks to your health and help you take preventive measures than be on the phone with the insurance company telling them about the damage.
A few dozen sandbags are a lot cheaper than replacing your belongings and repairing damage to your house. Preventive dentistry, like teeth cleanings, is much cheaper than restorative repair to fix decay, such as fillings, crowns, and bridges or gum disease treatments. If you have dental insurance, most of your annual preventive dental care is covered and won’t cost you any extra money. That’s like if your homeowner’s insurance offered you a load of sandbags for free twice a year, just in case there was a flood. If you knew there was a risk of flooding, why would you refuse the offer?
So if you want to avoid costly restorative dentistry or gum disease treatments in the future, be sure to come to see us every six months for your preventive care and cleaning appointment. An hour of your time twice a year is well worth trying to repair the damage after a catastrophe!
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