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John P. Goodman DDS

The Importance of Regular Dental Exams

By Dr. John Goodman on March 18, 2014

Kansas City Dental Exams and CleaningsHow healthy are your teeth? Unless the answer comes from your dentist, it can be nearly impossible to definitively know the status of your dental health. The beginnings of tooth decay leave little to no symptoms, resulting in the continual growth of cavities when left undetected. When patients do not come in for regular cleanings, the chance of developing progressive gum disease is even more likely.

Our Kansas City cosmetic dentistry office wants to help you treat problems before they become severe. Whether you are a new or returning patient, let us keep your teeth and gums healthy through regularly scheduled exams.

The Risk of Tooth Decay

Although at-home hygiene is of the utmost importance, it is rarely enough to prevent the eventual onset of decay. Proper brushing and flossing can remove most plaque from teeth, but some is likely to remain. Over time, plaque turns into a harder substance known as calculus, or tartar, which must be removed through professional cleaning instruments. When these biofilms are left to grow along teeth and gums, it is only a matter of time until decay begins to form within the adjacent tissue.

Oftentimes, early cavities are virtually undetectable to patients. They leave no exterior signs of their presence and are not easily felt within the tooth. In some cases, patients may only notice decay once a cavity has grown relatively large or infected the tooth’s roots. However, by visiting your dentist, you can identify and treat decay before it seriously compromises your dental health.

The Risk of Gum Disease

Gum disease is estimated to be present in at least half of American adults, including those who take care of their dental hygiene. When gingivitis is mild, it may only result in slightly inflamed gums, but any dental neglect can increase the area and severity of disease. Similar to tooth decay, the bacteria and plaque responsible for gum disease are best controlled through a combination of at-home and professional treatment. If disease spreads, it can pull gums away from teeth, creating pockets of infection and increasing the risk of decayed roots. When gingivitis progresses down into the jaw, it becomes periodontitis, which results in gradual damage to bone tissue and the possibility of tooth loss.

Advantages of a Dental Exam

Through preventative services and the skilled eye of Dr. Goodman and his staff, a regular exam at our office will ensure your continued dental health. Just by examining your teeth and gums, we can form a range of assessments regarding potential problems. Gum disease, enamel erosion, and bite alignment can be immediately spotted and addressed. Even more serious diseases such as diabetes or oral cancer may be diagnosed through the detection of early symptoms in the mouth. In addition to an inspection of your teeth, we can also provide:

  • X-rays:Through X-ray images, we can detect the beginnings of decay, allowing patients to undergo easier and less expensive treatment before it spreads.    
  • Professional cleanings: Scaling and polishing procedures are crucial for preventing disease and decay, as they remove the plaque and tartar missed by a regular toothbrush.
  • Fluoride treatment: A quick and painless fluoride treatment will strengthen teeth, increase their resistance to decay.
  • Dental sealants: A thin plastic coating can be applied to the occlusal surfaces of molars, where cavities are most likely to form.

Follow-up Treatment

When problems are identified during an exam, the right treatment can prevent said problems from growing and resulting in further complications. No matter the status of your teeth and gums, our practice offers a variety of restorative dentistry techniques:

  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Deep cleanings and periodontal treatment
  • Root canal treatment
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental implants
  • Dental bridges
  • Dentures
  • Orthodontics

Call Our Office

The health and beauty of your smile is of the utmost importance to us. If you suspect you may have a problem developing in your teeth or gums, or it is simply time for a routine exam, schedule an appointment with us.

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Kansas City Office

2700 Clay Edwards Dr
Ste 570
Kansas City, MO 64116

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