Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 27, 2019

The Importance of Making Regular Dentist Visits

Of all facets of health, oral care is considered a less priority. It’s easy to overlook basic oral care, especially for busy people who seem to always run out of time. People who have a schedule to keep, such as entrepreneurs, find it challenging to squeeze in a quick dental checkup because their time is usually spent on important priorities.

For instance, if you’re a business coach or a life coach, your day would generously be spent on learning courses for training your brain, which leaves no time for a dental checkup.

Regardless of how demanding a job is, it’s crucial to visit a professional for an oral checkup to avoid future oral concerns.

How Often Should You Visit Your Dentists?

You should visit the dentist every six months. If you have a family dentist, you can call to set up an appointment. If you’re living in the Bluegrass State, you can visit a dentist in St. Matthews KY for a complete assessment of your oral health.

To avoid forgetting about your dental checkup, mark your calendar two times with six months interval or set up a reminder on your phone, so you’ll know when you should visit your dentist.

Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Some people may wonder why they need to visit a dentist when they regularly brush, floss, and use mouthwash at home. If you’ve wondered the same, this article will educate you on the importance of visiting your dentist regularly.

A. To Have Dental Cleaning

Plague, a sticky layer of bacteria, can quickly build up in between teeth for the last six months you haven’t visited your dentist. It may turn into tartar, which is very hard to remove unless you visit a dentist to do a process called scaling.

The dentists have a tool called power scaler. It uses ultrasonic vibration to remove calcified deposits of tartar. This dental scaler vibrates between 25, 000 – 45, 000 times per second, which makes it highly effective in scraping off hardened tartar.

The vibrated metal tip of a scaler will crush the plaque and tartar on deeper pockets. The device also creates shockwaves that deranged bacterial cells, so they don’t cause any further damage to the teeth.

There are two types of dental ultrasonic scalers.

  1. Magnetostrictive Dental Scaler

  1. Piezoelectric Dental Scaler

Both of these devices operate similarly. The only notable difference is the direction to which their cleaning head moves. In Magnetostrictive scaler, the cleaning head moves in an elliptical motion, while Piezoelectric’s cleaning head moves in a linear motion or back and forth in a straight line.

B. To Detect Risk of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Just like other cancer diseases, the survival rate is dependent on the stage at diagnosis. Hence, visiting a dentist is crucial in determining any potential risk.

Dentists use different screening technologies for early detection of any abnormalities in oral health. Below are the two most common methods.

1. Fluorescence Imaging Technologies

This technology is used to enhance the visualization of the loss of tissue autofluorescence, which is associated with cancer in the oral cavity. An example is the VELscope, which is an oral cancer screener device sold commercially.

It emits blue light that aids dentists in the detection of abnormalities in cavity tissues by looking at the levels of autofluorescence. Abnormal tissues, under VELscope, will appear dark brown to black due to the declining level of autofluorescence. On the other hand, normal tissues will emit pale green autofluorescence.

2. High-resolution Optical Imaging

Confocal reflectance microscopy is an optical imaging technology that enables dentists to record images under subcellular resolution in vivo and without the need for a biopsy. With the use of a laser, this technology helps dentists see clear images of tissue architecture and cellular forms in almost real-time in the oral cavity. The recorded images are used to determine oral precancer.

C. Keep Bad Habits in Check

Oral B, an oral hygiene company, aims to make oral care smarter through technology. One of their initiatives is launching an app that offers tips on proper brushing. This is helpful for home oral care.

However, some people have bad habits that no level of home oral care can remedy. These habits may be smoking or vaping and eating sweets. They negatively impact your oral health, which you won’t know to what extent unless you have a checkup.

Technologies That Detect Effects of Bad Habits

1. Intraoral Camera

An intraoral camera is a technology used by dentists to give their patients an assessment of their oral health. It’s a shape and size of a pen that’s inserted in the mouth to take high definition pictures of the hard to reach areas.

Any adverse effects from excessive smoking or unhealthy habits are detectable using this.

2. Laser

Lasers have been in use in dentistry for many years. DIAGNOdent is a laser cavity detection system that uses fluorescence to identify normal and decaying dental tissue. It works even better than an x-ray in detecting cavities. Thus, many dentists are using it to closely examine and detect even the smallest defects inside the mouth.

Final Thoughts

As in other branches of medicine, the oral health scene is also changing with its advancements in technology to improving dental evaluations. The use of optical and fluorescence imaging is changing the lives of many people because of their accuracy in detecting any possible serious risk in oral health at its earliest stage, which helps people deal with oral problems successfully.

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