Regular Dental Care
Why have regular dental checkups?
Many patients tell me that they went to the dentist every 6 months in the UK, but since they moved to Spain they haven’t been for 3 or more years. Of course the main reason is they didn’t know who to go to or trust or were worried about language problems. There are British & English speaking dentists on the Costa, but who do you trust? There is no excuse for neglecting your teeth in Spain. If you don’t know who to go to, ask around. Get personal recommendations from friends and acquaintances. There are some very good dentists out there, both British and other nationalities. As the saying goes, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. Don’t wait for things to go wrong; get your teeth checked now. The longer you leave it, the harder it is to get back into the routine.
What do dentists do at a dental examination?
- History taking: take a dental history, medical history
- Listen to patient concerns about their teeth
- Check the teeth for cavities, decay, lost fillings, recession and mobility
- Check the gums for gingivitis/periodontal disease, ulcers, abscesses
- Look at the bite, check for wear, abrasion and enamel erosion
- Examine the soft tissues for unusual lesions, oral cancer etc
- Pay special attention to certain medical conditions which have an impact on the health of teeth, e.g. Diabetes, long-term steroids
- Check the causes of bad breath. This could be from cavities, abscesses, or from the digestive system
- Look at their oral hygiene. Are they cleaning the teeth and gums properly?
- Give advice on diet, tooth brushing, oral hygiene, future treatment needs
- Take x -rays to check for decay, abscesses, cysts, missing teeth, un-erupted wisdom teeth
I could keep on going. I bet you never realised how much there is to a dental examination. There is a direct link between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Many patients who have had an abscess, or bad gum infection, have said after they were treated, they felt much better generally and didn’t realise how much it had affected their general health and well being.
A good dentist will always listen to the patient, discuss and explain options, give advice and make recommendations, but it takes time to gain a patient’s confidence and build a good rapport; it will take more than one visit. As dentists, we are often asked to see a patient for the first time with severe pain, and only have 30 minutes to examine, listen, take history, diagnose and treat, and get the patient out of pain. Now that’s quite a tall order, but we do it every day of our working lives. It is much easier looking after our regular patients with a known dental history, and with whom we have built up a good rapport. So don’t leave that cavity, broken tooth, toothache until its too late. Get to a dentist now and have your teeth checked and sorted before you loose another tooth. Remember, after that first visit, it gets a lot easier to go back again and get into that routine of regular dental visits.