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Customized Dental Care

March 12th, 2014

When you seek preventive dental care, your dental team provides you with the latest and most skilled diagnostic appointment that is available.  A thorough examination, including an oral and  head and neck cancer screening, a periodontal screening for adults, and often x-rays is performed.  There may also be photographs, study models, and other necessary diagnostic tests done, depending on signs or symptoms the dentist finds. Children are checked for their bite and an orthodontic evaluation is documented.  And, for most, a dental prophylaxis or cleaning is completed with additional fluoride applications for those in need.
But while performing a complete examination and recall visit, it is important that each patient be considered individually.  For an adult who has never had a cavity (Yes they are more common than ever thanks to water fluoridation and better preventive care as kids), x-rays are not necessary as often as for those who are cavity prone.  The more disease we see, the more we might suggest in the way of in office fluoride treatments, sealants, and even more frequent cleanings.
In fact, for some who really take care of their mouths, the 6 month check-up might be extended to 9 or even 12 months.  It is critical to be educated as to your dental health and your own individual needs.  Your dental team will help in developing an individualized plan for your dental health in the future.
What about x-rays?  Well they follow the same guidelines and can be taken in accordance with need.  Anywhere from every 6 months in a patient with many problems, to only every 2 years.  Children with no decay history may have images done every 18 months since things can change much faster in kids.  Talk to your dental team about x-ray safety.  With proper use, dental x-rays are proven safe and effective in diagnosing disease early and preventing more expensive dental problems from developing.

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