In the past few decades, dentistry has changed dramatically. What once used to be a field reserved for dental emergencies and reconstruction procedures, full of scary tools and lots of pain, is now a medical field where kids get free trinkets for being good during their quick check-up. What instigated this change? How has it affected your relationship with the dentist?
Prevention Versus Restoration
While restorative procedures, especially cosmetic ones, are still quite common today, dentists realize that it is those very treatments that give them the stereotype of being painful and scary. No one wants to have an expensive and terrifying root canal. No one wants a crown or dental bridge. Unfortunately, these are sometimes necessary.
However, the great thing about modern dentistry is that it tries not to focus on those things. The attention has switched from treating dental illnesses and conditions to preventing them through common oral hygiene. Now you go to the dentist for that smooth clean and shiny feeling. There is nothing scary about it. It’s just a simple check-up that protects you against all the “big, bad scary” stuff.
Every Little Bit Counts
This preventative take on oral hygiene is why your semi-annual trips to the dentist are so important. With you may still be anxious about your cleaning and check-up, it is actually doing you a tremendous favor by staving off infection, gum disease, and other issues that will lead to more severe and expensive treatments.
The cleaning is short yet thorough. First, a hygienist will start prepping your teeth. This often includes x-rays, if it’s time for your next scheduled imaging. After the hygienist cleans your teeth, the dentist will come probe around for a bit. He is specifically looking for cavities and other signs of decay or disease. After the dentist has finished, the hygienist will get back to work polishing your teeth and administering fluoride. You even get to choose the flavor! You will leave with a great feeling in your mouth. You will just love to run your tongue over your teeth.
While it may not seem like professional teeth cleaning is very important, it certainly has its role to play in the grand scheme of higher dentistry. And you get whiter and shinier teeth to boot!