The American Dental Association recommends that patients attend regular dental visits at intervals determined by your doctor. While many individuals receive examinations and cleanings every six months, others may necessitate more frequent visits, based on their specific oral health needs. For example, patients who are prone to periodontal disease or tooth decay often benefit from visits every three to four months. During routine dental visits, Dr. Hessberger will assess the health of your teeth and gums, and your hygienist will remove plaque, tartar, and other bacteria-causing irritants.
By nature, premolars and molars form with deep grooves and fissures in the chewing surfaces. These areas, while helpful for grinding food, can also harbor debris and bacteria. To shield these teeth from harmful microbes and help prevent cavities from forming, dental sealants can be placed. This involves painting a thin clear liquid material on the teeth. When used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, sealants can provide a much-needed layer of protection.
While visual assessments help Dr. Hessberger examine the outer layers of the teeth, dental x-rays help him evaluate the inner structures and the supporting jawbone. Radiographs are typically recommended at least once a year. However, if you have an ongoing issue that requires monitoring, x-rays may be taken more frequently.
Oral Cancer Screenings
According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, only about 57 percent of individuals diagnosed with oral cancer this year will survive past the five-year mark. This unfortunate statistic is the result of late detection. In fact, when oral cancer is diagnosed early, treatment is typically predictable and successful. That is why Dr. Hessberger will perform an oral cancer screening at every dental visit. This simple assessment involves a visual examination of the oral soft tissues. Dr. Hessberger will also palpate the head and neck to feel for any irregularities. This five-minute screening could literally save your life.
Maintaining Your Oral Health between Visits
Professional dental care is crucial for optimal oral health, but how you care for your teeth and gums between visits is just as important. Every day, plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth. If these irritants are not removed on a regular basis, bacteria will begin to feed on them, creating acids that can erode the enamel. In addition, bacteria can lead to gum disease, which can wreak havoc on your oral health.
Properly caring for your smile can minimize your need for restorative treatments and preserve your teeth and gums for long-term oral health.
To prevent these issues, patients should brush at least two times a day using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. In addition, individuals should clean between the teeth with floss once a day. During an appointment at our practice, we can help you develop an oral hygiene regimen that will help keep your smile healthy for years to come.
Protect Your Smile
Routine care can help your doctor detect problems before they worsen, preserving the integrity of your smile. To learn more about the personalized preventative treatments offered at our practice, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hessberger. You can contact us online anytime or call us at (773) 792-5562.