The Importance Of Regular Preventive Maintenance


           The most effective form of health care, no matter what the area of health care involved, is prevention. This is no more true in any aspect of your health care than in your oral health. Without regular preventive dental care, the vast majority of people will experience some type of oral disease that will require invasive treatment. Or as a friend of mine once put it to me, you will need to have, "this drilled, that pulled and the other thing scraped."

           Unlike many medical conditions such as diabetes, hardening of the arteries or ear infections that can be treated with medication and behavior modification in their early stages, most dental problems require physical intervention. In other words, the build-up that has accumulated on your teeth through neglect won't go away by taking a pill or changing your diet and neither will the bone loss that it caused around your teeth or the decay that it caused in your teeth. It takes a hygienist and a dentist to do this for you manually with all the time, effort and expense that this entails.


Regular preventive dental care is a must!

           Many patients have the attitude that if nothing seems to be bothering them then they don't need any dental care. Nothing could be further from the truth for most individuals. In this way dental ailments are much like a certain medical difficulty - high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is often called the silent killer because it can go unnoticed by a patient who does not have regular medical exams until it causes a serious illness such as a heart attack or stroke. Dental disease generally goes undetected by patients until something serious happens like a tooth loosening, breaking or starting to ache. By that time the remedy needed will most assuredly be more extensive, more time consuming and more costly than the preventive measures that could have avoided the predicament in the first place. Remember, it is always easier to prevent a problem from happening in the first place than it is to correct it once it has occurred.

           It is for these reasons that patients who refuse to go to the dentist until something goes noticeably wrong in their mouths are doing themselves such a disservice. Surely it is easier to avert potential hazards in your mouth through proper maintenance and resolve initial damage with early diagnosis and elementary care than it is to wait until major harm takes place. Regular preventive dental care will allow you to maintain your oral health by minimizing your risk for the common dental diseases that afflict all persons to some degree and by allowing for uncomplicated solutions to preliminary lesions as they arise.

           Therefore, we can not vouch for your dental health unless we see you at least every six months here in our office for preventive visits. Individuals whose past dental history indicates higher than normal risk factors will need to be seen more often than that. We cannot, however, make a determination of that kind without the information gathered from regular appointments kept over a significant amount of time.




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Dr. Barry F. McArdle, D.M.D. ~ 118 Maplewood Avenue, The Captain Moses House, Suite B-7, Portsmouth, NH 03801

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