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There are a few different ideas swirling around out there about how frequently you actually need to visit the dentist. Most people need to visit their dentist for a regular hygiene visit twice a year, or once every six months. There are exceptions to this rule, however. If you have gum disease, or a history of gum disease, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. Another reason you may need to see the dentist more frequently is if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. The bottom line is that you need to at least see the dentist twice a year and you need to comply if it is recommended that you make those visits more frequent.
Dental x-rays are very safe. The amount of radiation that a dental x-ray produces is about the same as you would receive from a cross country airplane ride. Radiation is measured in millirems and one dental x-ray has only .5 millirems.
Everyone knows that cavities are bad, but a surprising amount of people don’t know exactly what cavities are. A cavity is simply a small hole in the tooth that develops as a result of tooth decay. In other words, decay eats away at the tooth and results in a void space that disrupts the structure of the tooth. It’s important to get cavities repaired because they will continue to grow larger with time.
A common misconception is that dental restorations last forever but unfortunately this is rarely true. With time dental restorations may break down or become loose, allowing decay to enter the area around the restoration and become problematic. Although you can’t expect your fillings, bridges, and crowns to last forever, you can do your part to make them last as long as possible. Maintain great oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly to keep those restorations in great condition for as long as possible.
Patients ask us about whitening their teeth all the time. It’s a tough question because there is no universal answer that applies for everyone. The fastest and most effective way to whiten teeth is typically an in-office professional whitening procedure. However, depending how dramatic you need your results to be, you may not require this type of procedure. Our best advice is to speak with your dentist or dental hygienist about what type of teeth whitening they would recommend. The best results are always going to be a result of a professional treatment, but your dentist can help you determine which treatment is right for you.