Regular and ongoing dental care is still one area of health that many families neglect. It is important to make trips to your family Fairfax dentist a priority for every member of the family. Just like many other health issues, prevention is always the preferred, and usually less expensive route, over trying to fix a problem after it has already started.
Generally, the recommendation for dental checkups is twice a year, one of those including x-rays of your teeth. Most dental insurance plans that cover preventative dental care will consider a dental checkup every 6 months, with cleaning of your teeth, as routine. It may seem surprising to some that you need to have a checkup with your dentist twice a year when you may only have a physical with your family physician once a year, but that is just how quickly decay can spring up and progress. Waiting a full twelve months between checkups means that you may be letting decay increase its penetration into your tooth and require more repair.
When to Start
One of the common questions that parents ask is how early they should start bringing their child in for regular dental checkups. Many are surprised at the answer. Your child’s first visit to their Fairfax dentist should be within 6 months after they start getting teeth.
This visit is just like your first ‘well-baby’ checkup with your pediatrician. It isn’t that you should expect your baby to be in need of treatment; it is more of an opportunity for your family dentist to assess any potential problems related to the jaw, gums or teeth, while there is plenty of time to correct them. It is also a time for your dentist and hygienist to educate you about your child’s oral health needs. Even if you have older children, advances and changes in dentistry may have occurred that you are not aware of.
Services Available at Your Fairfax Dentist
In addition to your regular checkup with your dentist, your family dentist will be able to offer you other preventative and repair services for maintaining your oral health.
Cleanings by a dental hygienist is an important service offered as a standard part of preventative care for your teeth. The cleaning done by the hygienist in the dental office goes far beyond what can be accomplished even with regular brushing and flossing. The hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup along the gum line, which can have a negative affect on anyone’s oral health.
Sealants to help prevent decay on the surface of the teeth used for chewing is one of the first types of dental care children often receive at the dentist, beyond regular cleaning. Sealants are a very thin plastic coating that is adhered to the surface of the teeth after they have been cleaned and can often last as long as ten years.
Fillings can become necessary when decay is discovered on a tooth’s surface. Today’s dentists generally offer fillings which are a close match to the color of your teeth. These present a much more appealing look within your mouth than metal colored fillings and generally are considered longer-lasting as well.
Whenever possible, most dentists prefer to avoid actually extracting a tooth unless they feel that extraction is the best possible solution for the patient. Unless the tooth is being removed to make room for other teeth to grow in straight, your dentist will generally recommend that the extracted tooth be replaced with a bridge or dental implant. Even a missing tooth can negatively impact your oral health. Some tooth extractions may be more complex than others; at times your family dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for these types of extractions.
Crowns, Root Canals and Other Repairs
When decay has caused major damage to a tooth, surface fillings may no longer be sufficient to repair the damage. In these cases your dentist may recommend and perform more extensive repairs. The type of damage and area of the tooth will affect which methods are best suited for those types of repairs.
The possibility of referral to an oral surgeon for certain extractions is just one type of specialized dentistry which your family dentist may not be qualified to handle. In addition, not all Fairfax dentists offer periodontal services which deal with the soft tissue surfaces inside your mouth: your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth.
Dr. Bezik, however, has a Master of Dental Surgery degree in addition to her Doctor of Dental Science degree. She also specializes in the periodontal treatments that most family dentists do not offer. Check out the full list of specialty services offered by Dr. Bezik. You’ll quickly find that Dr. Bezik is not just your ordinary Fairfax dentist.