Trips to the Dentist Office
It was not until fairly recently that modern dentistry shifted its focus from solving problems to preventing them. A large part of prevention is regular dental visits with your local dentist. At Ashley Bennett DDS and J.J. Perkiomaki DMD PC, we pride ourselves on serving our community. We want every member of the family to have a healthy and beautiful smile! The following information is designed to answer any questions you may have about a visit to our office.
Why Should I Visit the Dentist?Visiting our office at regular intervals is an important part of your oral health. During a routine appointment, we typically perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth, gum tissues, and bones. Our dental hygienist also performs a professional cleaning to rid your teeth of plaque and tartar deposits.
During your comprehensive exam, Dr. Perkiomaki and Dr. Bennett will check for cavities and signs of periodontal (gum) disease. We will also evaluate your risk of developing other dental diseases. Your exam is typically broken down into physical and visual parts. During the physical part, we may feel around the teeth, gums, neck, and jaw for any abnormal bumps, lacerations, or textures. This typically includes an oral cancer screening as well. During the visual part, we will use diagnostic tools to look for cavities, discolorations, and any other potential problems. In some cases, this may include dental x-rays. X-rays allow us to diagnose tooth decay and gum disease that may not be visible to the naked eye. We also check your bite and jaw for misalignments, evaluate your need for restorations or replacements, and assess your need for fluoride treatment.
After your exam is complete, we will discuss the results with you, including your risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and any other oral health complications. The goal is to take preventive measures that will improve and protect your teeth and gums. We will also recommend the best time to schedule a follow-up appointment.
How Often Do I Need to Visit the Dentist?The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that adults schedule a routine dental appointment at intervals determined by your dentist, in this case, Dr. Perkiomaki or Dr. Bennett. The standard interval for most patients tends to be six months or so. If you have exceptional oral health due to genetics or an excellent oral hygiene routine, we may recommend fewer appointments. Conversely, if you are genetically predisposed to cavities and dental diseases, we may recommend you schedule appointments at more frequent intervals. Regardless of your oral health, regular dental visits are essential to the maintenance of your teeth and gums.
It is also important for children to visit us regularly. Proper oral health typically starts as early as infancy. Regular appointments allow us to catch problems before they become major complications. We will also show you the proper way to brush and floss their teeth, information you can pass on to them as they grow older. Our goal is to establish a strong foundation that will follow them into adulthood.
How Long Will My Dental Visit Last?The length of a dental visit varies from patient to patient and is usually dictated by the number of procedures we need to perform. We understand that many of our patients have busy lives, and are looking for convenient and speeding appointments. While we cannot promise an exact time, most routine appointments take roughly 50 minutes, especially if the check-up is uneventful. A comprehensive exam usually takes about 10 minutes, while a thorough cleaning takes about 40. The need for x-rays may increase the length of your appointment.
If we discover any oral health problems, we may perform restorative treatment, which can also lengthen your appointment. However, it is important to note that a routine dental visit could potentially save you a lot of time and money in the future. For example, preventing a cavity with a professional cleaning can eliminate the need for a dental filling later down the road.
Do I Need to Visit the Dentist If I Brush and Floss?Taking care of your teeth involves more than just brushing and flossing. Even with an excellent oral hygiene routine, you may still experience tooth decay and periodontal disease. In fact, most people experience at least one cavity throughout their lifetime.
While brushing and flossing your teeth can significantly reduce your chances of developing dental diseases; plaque can easily build up. Plaque is a thin biofilm that constantly forms on and around your teeth, making it virtually impossible to remove completely. Over time, the plaque build-up will calcify into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove. Most tartar deposits require the use of a hand tool known as an ultrasonic scaler. In other words, professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. During your cleaning, our dental hygienist will use the ultrasonic scaler to remove the plaque and tartar deposits, as well as eliminate the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Do I Still Need to Visit If I Have Dentures?Some patients are under the impression that dentures do not require regular dental visits. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even if you have dentures, routine appointments are still essential, maybe even more so. The stability, durability, and comfort of your dentures depend upon the foundation that supports them—your gum tissues and underlying bone. The longer you wear your dentures, the more susceptible these tissues are to deterioration. This can lead to ill-fit dentures that make it more difficult to eat, speak, smile and laugh. A routine appointment allows us to repair, reline, or replace an ill-fit denture.
What If I’m Scared of the Dentist?If you are scared of regular dental visits, you are not alone. In fact, many patients find their dental phobias prevent them from receiving the oral healthcare they need. If you fall into this category, we can help. At our office, we strive to create an atmosphere and experience that is comfortable, easy, and stress-free. Our friendly team is dedicated to the overall satisfaction of our patients. If you suffer from extreme fears or anxieties, you can also talk with Dr. Perkiomaki or Dr. Bennett about potential sedation options. Sedation dentistry may be the solution for you!
Schedule Your Dental Visit Do not neglect your oral health! Do not let your financial situation prevent you from receiving the care you need! We offer payment plans that make essential oral healthcare much more affordable. Call (503) 292-8996 today to schedule your appointment!