How we stay several steps ahead of disease with routine cleanings and exams

Dental decay and gum (or “periodontal”) disease are the main reasons people lose their teeth. In fact, tooth decay is the most common chronic condition affecting children, more prevalent than asthma or hay fever. Likewise, periodontal disease is the No. 1 cause of tooth loss among adults. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports almost 50% of Americans aged 30-plus have gum disease. Around 9% of those adults have severe periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease.

Fortunately, cleanings and x-rays at the office of Athens Dental Group go far to keep greater northern and eastern Georgia healthy. Routine, proactive dentistry minimizes the risk of developing dental and periodontal disease. Oral health not only supports an attractive smile and healthy chewing function, but it also reduces the risk of developing systemic disease. Furthermore, healthy teeth and gums help to keep existing diseases (like diabetes) in check.

Why do you need to clean my teeth when I already brush at home?

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Congratulations on maintaining excellent oral care! Keep it up. However, good home care is not a substitute for professional care at our office. Standard toothbrushes and other OTC products and techniques are limiting; they cannot remove stubborn plaque build-up. Only our skilled dental hygienists can lift tartar that otherwise erodes the teeth and inflames the gums. They have the specialized tools and training to remove these harmful substances safely, gently, and precisely. They also remove surface stains and bacteria to keep your teeth looking amazing, your mouth feeling fresh, and your breath smelling great! 

But my teeth feel fine. Why do I need an exam, too?

Regular visits to our office typically include professional cleaning followed by a comprehensive exam conducted by one of our talented dentists, Drs. Drew Richardson, Brant Sandifer, and R. Lawrence George. They use their considerable know-how and advanced diagnostic technologies to pinpoint problems early. These early-stage problems with the teeth, gums, and related tissues often produce no symptoms or very subtle symptoms that are easy to ignore. In other words, you may think your teeth are healthy because they “feel fine.” Yet, a problem may lurk underneath the surface that must be intervened with before obvious signs like bleeding and pain creep up. By that time, irreversible damage may have occurred, requiring more aggressive, invasive, costly, and time-consuming treatment. 

How often should I visit you? 

All patients should maintain dental check-ups (cleanings and exams) at least once every six months or bi-annually. Patients with risk factors for conditions like gum disease and oral cancer will likely need to be examined and have cleanings more frequently. We can stay ahead of problems and monitor how well interventions and therapies work to resolve active disease. Our dentists will discuss your specific risks and advise on your best routines. 

Call (706) 353-1958 to schedule your check-up today at Athens Dental Group, proudly serving Watkinsville, Athens, Winder, Bethlehem, Jefferson, Winterville, Madison, and greater Clarke and Oconee counties in GA.