A Case for Preventative Dentistry and Comprehensive Exams
In a magical world, there would be no need for preventative dentistry or comprehensive dental exams, because nothing would ever go wrong inside a person’s mouth. In fact, there would be no need for dentists at all! But we don’t live in a magical world, we live in a world where humans need to take care of their oral health or suffer the consequences. That means choosing the right dentist.
Commitment to Excellent Oral Health
A dentist who provides a comprehensive exam to new patients and periodically to existing patients is committed to excellence in oral health. The alternative is a dentist that is willing to do a quick and (often) superficial exam that may leave undetected and harmful conditions to fester. Both kinds of dentists are out there; you have a choice.
Patient well-being and long-term oral health are priorities for a practice that specializes in comprehensive dental care and treatment. From the very first moment you become a patient, starting with the introductory exam, you’ll be in the care of a dental team that is proactive in detecting and addressing any oral health issues. The alternative, being reactive, means waiting to treat oral health issues until a patient is suffering from pain and discomfort.
The Purpose of a Comprehensive Exam
When you make an introductory appointment with a new dentist, it may seem reasonable to request a quick dental exam and cleaning on your first visit. However, there are several reasons why a comprehensive dental exam is a better option.
Oral healthcare is complex and conditions affecting it may change over time and “seemingly” without warning. The thing is, there are always warning signs if a problematic condition is developing; it’s just that these signs may not be felt right away or seen by the naked or untrained eye. With the exception of injuries that cause damage to the teeth, gums, or jaw, virtually every other kind of damage to teeth and gums is preventable, if detected early.
Preventive dentistry means detecting potential oral health problems before the issue begins to cause pain, discomfort or damage to the teeth. The treatment you receive will prevent these painful dental problems from progressing, with procedures that are often less intrusive and result in a more comfortable recovery.
A comprehensive exam will also tell your dentist if your oral hygiene regimen needs improvement. Part of the exam involves providing patients with education on proper brushing and flossing. Your oral health will positively benefit from the advice received during an in-depth examination of teeth, gums, and bones. In many cases, deep cleaning will be recommended as the next step.
How much do you want to spend on dentistry? In that magical world, we’d say, “Nothing, thank you!” The majority of patients would agree that they would rather avoid visiting the dentist altogether. Dental phobia aside, there is always the cost consideration of receiving treatment. The good news is that there is a way to improve the likelihood that future dental visits will be limited to regular check-ups and hygiene.
When a dentist carries out a comprehensive exam, the focus is on detecting potential oral health problems. This includes any signs of issues that could develop over time. If the dentist provides preventative treatment, you can avoid repeat appointments in the future for a more serious dental condition. In the long run that saves money, time, and likely discomfort.
If it sounds like a comprehensive treatment plan is going to involve a huge expense, here is something to consider: most comprehensive treatment can be planned and carried out in stages, sometimes keeping an eye on a condition but holding off on doing anything about it for months or sometimes even years. One of the goals of comprehensive dentistry is to increase knowledge and understanding of the risks and priorities.
What If the Damage is Already Done?
Nishan Halim is a Washington, DC dentist best known for excellence in restorative, as well as preventative dental care. His comprehensive approach to dentistry has helped many patients understand the full picture of what is going on in their mouths – often for the very first time – so that a well-thought-out plan can be discussed, decided upon, and then carried out.
All preventative work and much restorative work makes it possible to avoid painful and even more costly repair in the future. Less pain, fewer treatments, and cost-effective dentistry are just some of the reasons to embrace the comprehensive exam.
If you are ready for a dentist who values your oral health and wants you to feel good about your smile and yourself, get in touch with Dr. Nishan Halim today.