Preventative dental care can significantly lower your chances of tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease. By planning your checkups twice a year, you can actively play a part in keeping your teeth healthy for life.
Today’s preventative resources and early diagnostic technology makes it possible to keep your teeth longer than ever. Even if your family has a history of recurring decay and gum disease, the resources available today can help you break the cycle.
You might ask yourself, “Why do I need to see the dentist every six months if I never have any dental problems?” That’s completely the point! We want to help prevent common dental diseases before they ever get a chance to form. In fact, early signs of tooth demineralization — which is what causes decay — can be reversed if we catch it early enough. And gingivitis — which is what eventually evolves into periodontal disease — can also be reversed as long as steps are taken early enough.
"My family and I have been going to Dr. Segal for well over a decade after connecting through Dental Crisis Care. We had the option of going with a cheaper HMO dentist but chose to pay more out of pocket to get the best dentist in South Florida. Dr. Matthew Segal is caring, has a great sense of humor, and his whole staff (thanks Tima!) make you feel welcomed. And if you're into anything ocean, this is the place for you. Enjoy!" - DiVitto Kelly
Regular dental exams, cleanings, and daily brushing and flossing can dramatically lower your chances of dental emergencies, decay, and tooth loss. As your partner in health, we’ll equip you with the information you need to actively play a role in your smile’s success.
Here’s the great news: your preventative care appointments like cleanings, exams, and applicable X-rays are usually covered by your dental insurance at 100% up to twice a year. It actually pays to schedule your regular checkups! By tapping into the coverage you already have, you can actively keep your teeth healthy and reduce the chances of needing additional treatment later on in the future.
We encourage six-month checkups for patients of all ages. Preventative dentistry is the foundation of a lifetime of healthy smiles. No matter if you have one tooth or 32 of them, plan to see your dentist and hygienist at least twice a year.
The best way to keep your smile healthy is by scheduling regular checkups and exams at least every six months. Since the majority of dental problems are preventable (or reversible, if we catch them early enough), regular dental exams are an essential part of preventative care.
During your exam, our dentist will evaluate your existing dental work to check for leaky margins or restorations that are wearing out. We’ll also evaluate your TMJ and bite alignment to screen for irregularities that could cause jaw pain or worn enamel.
Oral cancer screenings are another essential piece of your dental exam. Since oral cancer is difficult to pinpoint on your own, regular screenings can be lifesaving. The sooner precancerous tissues are spotted, the better rate of recovery there is for our patients.
And of course, we’ll also screen for new areas of decay, gum disease, and bone loss. Although these three factors may seem like the most important part of your dental exam, they’re just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to a healthy smile for life.
Will you need X-rays? Possibly. Regular diagnostic X-rays make it possible to see areas that aren’t visible during a visual exam. For instance, abscessed teeth, bone shrinkage, and decay between teeth aren’t visible to the naked eye unless they’re severe. Low-dose X-rays allow us to monitor your oral health from year to year and make a precise diagnosis as early as possible. Most of our patients need a set of bitewing X-rays once per year, with a full-mouth X-ray series taken every 3-5 years.
Preventative dental cleanings are recommended at least every six months for our patients with healthy teeth and gums. If you’re currently in braces or have a high risk of gum disease, you may want to plan a cleaning as frequently as every 3-4 months. Otherwise, twice a year is just fine (bonus: your dental insurance plan will likely include two complimentary cleanings per year.)
During your cleaning, we’ll use special tools to gently remove tartar buildup, stain, and plaque throughout your mouth. Our hygienist will also measure your gum and bone levels to screen for periodontal disease. Catching it early is essential since gingivitis is a completely reversible condition, but gum disease is not.
For younger or cavity-prone patients, a fluoride treatment may also be recommended. Fluoride helps remineralize weak areas of enamel, making your teeth more resistant to decay and sensitivity.
Once your cleaning is complete, your hygienist will discuss specific areas that may need adapted cleaning methods. We’ll walk you through various options to help you clean these spaces effectively (and realistically.) From choosing electric toothbrushes and water flossers to picking the best flossing aids, we’ll show you how to efficiently keep your smile clean and healthy from one checkup to the next.
(Scaling & Root Planing)
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is the leading cause of tooth loss. As dental plaque and tartar accumulate deep underneath your gum tissues, they cause them to pull away and detach from your teeth. The supporting bone underneath them will also shrink away.
Gradually you’re left with mobile teeth that are sore, bleed easily, and may eventually fall out. Some of the most common symptoms you’ll notice are:
Spaces between teeth
Sore, bleeding, or swollen gums
Heavy tartar buildup
A deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) is the only way to safely remove the bacteria causing your gum disease. These thorough cleanings reach deep under the gum pockets where tartar and other bacteria are attached to your teeth. A toothbrush and floss just can’t reach. Cleaning the pockets creates an environment that facilitates tissue reattachment, halting the disease process, and preventing additional bone loss.
Gum disease isn’t just dangerous to your smile. It also significantly impacts your overall health. Severe periodontal disease is directly linked to uncontrolled diabetes, increased risk of stroke and heart attack, infertility, preeclampsia, stillbirth, erectile dysfunction, and pneumonia. By eliminating oral bacteria found in periodontal infections, you can reduce their chances of spreading into other areas of your body.
Are You Due for a Checkup?
Has it been six months or longer since your last dental checkup? Then it’s time to schedule a routine preventative care appointment. Call us today to reserve your next visit.