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Visiting Your Dentist On a Regular Basis

By now, most people are aware that good preventative health care involves visiting both a medical doctor and a dentist for regular check-ups.

While it is only necessary to visit the doctor once per year, two yearly visits with the dentist are needed to be sure your oral health care is in the best shape. Unfortunately, most people will not visit their dentist until they have a tooth ache or other oral discomfort, even if they visit the doctor regularly.

Regular check-ups with a doctor are fairly simple. Patients in good health will simply undergo a basic health physical which involves checking to see that the heart rate, blood pressure, and weight are within normal ranges. Most of the time this is quick and painless, and if the doctor does find anything of concern, they will simply make recommendations for lifestyle changes such as a diet or exercise plan. Although a visit with the dentist is just as easy and basic, many people are simple afraid of going to the dentist. For many, this is a valid fear because of a previous bad experience at the dentist. Indeed, basic procedures such as filing a cavity can be very painful and traumatic, especially if they were treated by a dentist who did not administer enough anesthetic to make the procedure less painful. Others may not have had a bad experience and instead may have heard of a bad experience from a peer or colleague. Furthermore, a visit with the dentist tends to be a little more invasive than a basic check-up with the doctor. Although a teeth cleaning is typically painless, some patients are uncomfortable with the various tools and appliances that the dentist must use to remove plaque and bacteria from deep within the oral cavity.

Instead of skipping regular visits with the dentist, there are a few solutions for those who are afraid of going to the dentist. Sedation dentistry is one such alternative that has become very popular for patients who are concerned about their oral health, but are a little anxious when they step into a dentist office. This involves administering a sedative to relax the patient during treatment. There are many different levels from a light sedative that will simply help the patient relax, to a stronger medication that will render the patient unconscious. However, most dentist prefer to administer a light sedative so that the patient remains conscious and aware.

Even if going to the dentist makes you a little anxious, there is no reason to skip regular visits. While it is true that a dental check-up is a little more in-depth than a visit with the doctor, there are ways to ease those fearsFeature Articles, including behavior modification and sedation dentistry.

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