The old saying goes “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to oral health, as even minor dental issues can become quite costly (and painful) without regular checkups and proper care. By visiting your local dentist in Northbrook, IL regularly for routine examination and cleaning, you can prevent many dental problems and catch others when they’re still minor – and less expensive to treat.
The dentist will first examine your mouth with a mirror and probe (a small, pick-like tool). They will check for tooth decay, gum disease, and other conditions that aren’t easily seen with the naked eye. They will also look at the soft tissues in your mouth, including your tongue and cheeks. In addition, the dentist will check to see how your current fillings and other restorations are holding up (fillings don’t last forever). X-rays are usually taken at each visit to give the dentist a comprehensive view of your teeth and jaw bones. These can help them spot and diagnose problems that aren’t visible to the eye, such as impacted or growing teeth that are blocked from pushing through the gums (as is often the case with wisdom teeth).
After performing an examination, the dentist will recommend the best course of action. For most people, that will mean a simple recommendation to brush and floss more regularly. They may also suggest using a special toothpaste with fluoride or other treatments to improve your oral health. Your dentist can also provide you with education about proper oral hygiene practices so that you can keep your teeth healthy at home.
Some major dental procedures require a more invasive approach, such as the removal of an infected or damaged tooth or bone grafting to repair a jaw defect. Your dentist will advise you about these options and explain the cost and prognosis in detail. They will typically discuss the options with you before beginning any work, so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.
It is a good idea to have your dental insurance information with you when you go for your visit. This way, you can make sure that any procedures your dentist recommends are covered by your plan. Dental insurance policies usually have yearly maximums, so you should try to visit your dentist before reaching your limit. Most plans will allow you to roll over a portion of your unused annual maximum to the next year.
Dental services are generally broken down into three categories: preventive, basic, and major. Routine dental services such as cleanings and X-rays fall into the preventive category, and are typically covered at 100% by most dental insurance plans. These preventive services can help maintain your oral health, and identify potential problems early – saving you time, money, and pain in the future. In addition, visiting your dentist regularly can help you build a relationship with them, which can be helpful if you have any concerns about your oral health in the future.