200 S. Pleasantburg Dr.
Greenville, SC 29607

At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, we are passionate about providing the best oral care possible. One of the most important messages we can impart to our patients is that routine dental exams, every six months, are a critical piece of the dental health puzzle. Many people think daily brushing and flossing is enough to avoid tooth decay, but this absolutely not how it works.

Six month visits are the best way to avoid cavities and prevent costly and painful dental conditions—and we’re going to tell you why!

Call Carolina Oaks if you need a dentist in Greenville, SC. Drs. Mark Workman and Susan Maxwell provide gentle, customized care for every member of your family. Contact our office online or at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment.

Why You Need Dental Exams

Did you know that only one percent of the population will get through their lives without ever developing a dental cavity? If you think those other 99% get cavities because they aren’t brushing and flossing, think again. Even those of us with the most diligent oral hygiene are unable to properly clean specific, very small areas of our teeth; without dental cleanings those areas may develop cavities. There are also ridges in our molars that are simply too narrow for toothbrush bristles to penetrate effectively. A dental exam is the only way to make sure those places do not harbor calculus (tartar), which leads to tooth decay.

Routine dental exams are the best way to prevent cavities because we can spot areas of demineralization before the cavity even forms and apply restorative treatments to give your enamel a protective boost. They are also the best way to prevent extensive dental restorations, such as lengthy root canals and crown treatments.

Cavities and Gum Disease Develop Silently

Unlike most medical conditions, dental conditions like cavities and gum disease often give us no indication they are happening. By the time you get a toothache (or swollen, bleeding gums) the condition has advanced beyond the possibility of conservative treatment.

This is counterintuitive to how we normally approach our health, since we usually get an indication of medical problems in the form of soreness, pain, stiffness, or dysfunction. We usually give the pain a few days to resolve itself, as our bodies are excellent at self-repair. If the pain doesn’t go away on its own, we may eventually seek help from a doctor.

Teeth, however, are completely different from the rest of the body. They rarely tell us when something is starting to go wrong and they have absolutely no system for self-healing. That’s why prevention is such an important part of oral care.

What happens during a dental exam?

If you think six-month visits are just about preventing and detecting cavities, there’s more to it than that!

Dental exams include:

  • oral cancer screening;
  • dental cleaning;
  • cavity detection;
  • preventive treatments;
  • screening for symptoms of oral health conditions, such as TMJ disorder, snoring, bruxism, and gum disease; and
  • patient/provider information exchange.

Many patients may not even be aware they are happening, but each dental exam includes patient Q-and-A and visual scans for signs of oral health conditions other than cavities. Bruxism, TMJ disorder, gum disease, and oral cancer (especially) are conditions that are most treatable when detected in their earliest stages.

The time you spend with the dentist and hygienist is also an excellent opportunity for sharing information. The field of oral health is constantly evolving, and our understanding of factors that affect your teeth and gums is always expanding. We love being able to give our patients information that will help them make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

We also like to learn about what’s going on with you during your exam, as many medical and health conditions have a link to your teeth and gums. For example, pregnancy, diabetes, and acid reflux can have a dramatic impact on your oral health, which we can help you prevent and treat.

Call Us Today to Set Up Your Dental Exam!

Call Carolina Oaks if you need a dentist in Greenville, SC. Drs. Mark Workman and Susan Maxwell provide gentle, customized care for every member of your family. Contact our office online or at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment.