Comprehensive Checkup & Cleaning
A Conversation with Dr. Kelly Wang
In dentistry, prevention is always better than cure. However, one in three Americans and one in two Taiwanese fail to see a dentist each year, even though regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene can prevent most dental diseases. Many preventable dental problems remain asymptomatic until it has reached a progressive stage requiring lengthy treatments. This is why comprehensive check up is very important because it helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent a lot of needless problems down the road. The ADA recommends getting regular dental visits at least every 3 to 6 months.
How important is Oral and Dental Health?
According to the World Health Organization, oral health is integral and essential to general health and that oral health is a determinant factor for quality of life. Clinical evidence supports that proper oral health care reduces premature mortality and poor oral health can increase the risks to general health. Compromised chewing and eating abilities affect nutritional intake and compromised speaking abilities will increase the risk of dementia. Dental health is the most important and direct factor affecting our quality of life on a daily basis. It affects our dietary intake, dining experience, speech, appearance and confidence.
Why do we have to keep visiting the dentist?
Teeth and gum, unlike other parts of our body, does not heal on its own. Once a problem manifests it will only worsen unless treated. This is why it is important to get regular checkup and cleaning to detect and treat any early problem and prevent complications down the road. Our teeth are constantly exposed to bacteria and impact from chewing and speaking, every little condition can quickly build up overtime which is why dental visits need to be recurrent to manage and reverse the effects.
When should we go see a dentist?
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you can still have dental health problems that only a dentist can diagnose. Regular dental visits will also help to prevent problems from developing. Continuity of care is an important part of dental health. It’s also important to keep your dentist informed of any changes in your overall health since many medical conditions can affect your dental health too. However, if any of the following applies to you, then it may be wise to seek dental help soon: have not received dental checkup for more than 6 months; teeth sensitive to hot/cold; gums are puffy/bleeding during brushing or flossing; dislike the way your smile or teeth look; persistent bad breath/taste in your mouth; pregnancy; pain/swelling in your mouth, face, or neck; difficulty chewing/swallowing; family history of gum disease/tooth decay; mouth is often dry; smoker; jaw sometimes pop or is painful during movement; uneven bite; a spot or sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away.
What is a Comprehensive Checkup & Cleaning?
Comprehensive Checkup is the best start towards good long term oral health. During your appointment, our doctors will examine all your teeth and gums and build your dental profile. Your report will also be cross examined by other specialists if needed. We will then provide preventative cleaning and prophylaxis as needed. Regular checkup and cleaning is the most thorough way to ensure that nothing goes unnoticed by your dental care provider and that your teeth and gums are consistently monitored for the best possible health.
Information Source: World Health Organization, TWMOHW, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, American Dental Association