Regular visits to the dentist are recommended for every patient of any age. Ideally, visits should begin from the very first year of life.
We know that only sixty per cent of the population visit the dentist regularly. This is not ideal because oral and dental disease – much of which can be prevented and possibly reversed if found early – can painlessly cause significant damage over time . Prevention is better than cure.
If problems are ignored and not acted on until there cause urgent symptoms, options for treatment may be severely limited. Early intervention – addressing a problem at the earliest opportunity – will always provide the best possible outcome.
Dental health care professionals will never ‘judge’ any individual, regardless of the time elapsed since the last visit. They are genuinely pleased to welcome every patient through the door at any time.
They recognise that some patients might be hesitant or anxious to attend for a whole range of reasons. These reasons may include outdated attitudes to dentistry, exaggerated tales of others’ bad experiences, or negative memories from a visit some years ago.
Please be assured that dentistry has come a long way in recent times. Your local dental practice is staffed by professionals who:
- Listen to their patients and connect with them
- Will take time to reassure patients and answer all questions honestly and promptly
- Are keen to build a relationship of trust with each patient
- Wish to understand individual patient needs
- Work with patient – taking time to get it right
- Are capable, professional and competent in whatever they do
- Provide authoritative, objective advice on how to maintain oral health
- Are committed to ‘teeth for life’ as the ‘gold standard’
- Recognise the value of oral health and dental attractiveness to wellbeing
- Will always be willing to explain and describe procedures to individual patients, and responsive to their wishes.
The time between visits is usually determined by an individual’s state of health, susceptibility to oral and dental disease and past needs. A healthy mouth usually requires less ongoing maintenance. Whatever the circumstances, the interval between appointments should never be any longer than two years, even for patients who have lost all their teeth and wear complete dentures. You are encouraged to follow advise given on the interval between visits to the dentist.
Dentists conduct a full assessment at each new patient and recall visit. This assessment addresses a range of issues, including the presence or absence of:
- Forms of tooth decay and wear and gum disease
- Diseases of the jaws and jaw joints
- Problems with the soft tissue of the mouth
- Any evidence of oral cancer or precancerous changes