Preventing a toothache with routine care
Do you attend the dentist when you are in pain, or when you are concerned about a tooth? Or do you attend regularly and come in for cleans? There are two types of appointments that we regularly see in the dental clinic. One is routine appointments, and the other is symptomatic or emergency care.
Regular or routine care generally consists of yearly dental check-ups and professional cleaning twice a year. Everyone is different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all regimen for care. Before routine maintenance can begin, you will need to come for a full exam in order for us to look at your teeth and assess your needs.
After required treatment, routine care may look like the following:
- Visit 1: Check-up, x-rays (if needed), clean.
- Visit 2: Clean
This cycle repeats as long as there are no dental issues of concern.
Symptomatic or emergency care
If you are waiting until you have teeth that cause you pain, this is considered symptomatic or emergency care. Depending on when you come in, treatment will vary.
If you come in as soon as you start experiencing pain, it is more likely that treatment will be simpler and cheaper. If you have had a toothache for weeks, or on and off for months, or sometimes if the pain has mysteriously disappeared, this could mean that more advance treatment is required. Your dentist can discuss options for the tooth after a diagnosis can be made.
So what typically happens at an emergency appointment? In order to address your chief complaint in a timely manner, the dentist will look specifically at the concerned tooth or area and may take x-rays if needed. We will do our best to get you out of pain at this appointment, but usually a follow-up appointment is needed. At the follow-up appointment, treatment is continued. We recommend also having a full exam to make sure the rest of your teeth are healthy. Your dentist will need to complete a full exam in order to determine if other work is required.
Is it ever too late to come in for routine care?
It is never too late to come in for regular care! Everyone has their reasons for why they were not coming in for regular treatment. The most important thing is to have all of your dental issues addressed so that you can continue on with routine care. We want to educate so that everyone can make their own informed decisions about dental treatment. Routine care is also significantly cheaper, so coming in regularly will be easier on your wallet.