Why visit the dentist? Is it because of toothache or a broken tooth, or are you keen to look after your teeth and prevent rather than cure a problem?
When you have a check-up it is not only the teeth that are examined, it should be the mouth as a whole, including cheeks, tongue, palate and gums, all of which may give indications of systemic diseases. This is why your medical history is checked regularly to ensure that what is seen in the mouth relates to any medical condition or medication that is being taken.
As for the teeth, if they are checked regularly then early decay, cracks in fillings or teeth may be treated before developing into a more major, and more expensive, problem. At High Street Dental Practice we use digital sensors in place of film for our x-rays which reduces the radiation dose to the patient and enables immediate viewing of the picture, which is enlarged on the computer monitor for the patient to see. An intraoral camera may also be used to help explain specific problem areas.
The dentist is also there to diagnose early signs of oral cancer, which may otherwise remain undetected for a while before symptoms develop.
How much do you value your dentist?
Nicola Merson BDS. LDSRCS.14 March 2002
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