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Thursday, July 10, 2014

You Should See A Dentist Early, But How Early?

As a general dentist, I see patients that range in age from 1-100 years old. Patients are assessed and screened for different things based on their age. The earlier we see a patient the better. It is quite common to have bite discrepancies, jaw growth discrepancies, as well as missing permanent teeth. There can be habits that have changed the growth of the jaw, as well as problems with the TMJ (jaw joint). There can also be medication induced damage. As an example, a past history of something as simple as a high fever, can affect your teeth and their overall strength. If these items are found and diagnosed early, proper plans can be put in place to make the treatment palatable and predictable. The longer you wait to be seen, the more involved it may be to correct or repair the issue. In some cases we will not have a solution if it has been too long. Another example is a child can be diagnosed with missing permanent teeth very early in their life. A plan can be put together to properly maintain the primary (baby) teeth for many years. The assumption is that all patients will lose these teeth, but that is not so. A dentist can monitor their growth and the teeth around them to assure the patient does not lose them. Primary teeth can remain for a lifetime if the patient is seen early and monitored closely. This will save time and treatment for the patient, and significant cost savings can be realized. So, be seen early in life by the dentist, and at least twice a year. It will save you time and money, and ultimately your teeth for a lifetime.


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