Going to the dentist isn't a popular activity for many people. Some of us are afraid of going for check ups, others think that if there is no pain in their teeth everything is fine and still more think that even if there is pain it will eventually go away.
In fact, nearly half of New Zealanders skip dental check ups – the National Oral Health Survey revealed that 47 per cent of adults in New Zealand don't go to the dentist regularly.
That's an alarming number, especially given the consequences of ignoring your oral health. Let's look at what could happen to people skipping their dental visits.
47 per cent of adults in New Zealand don't go to the dentist regularly.
The risks of skipping dental visits
Not going to the dentist regularly means small problems can turn into major ones, eventually taking more time, money and, ironically trips to the dentist, to fix.
For example, tooth decay and gum disease can be easily taken care of when caught early, but if left untreated they could reach advanced stages where the bone and tissue surrounding the problem area start to deteriorate significantly. A small cavity could be easily fixed with a filling – or it could get so bad you might eventually need a root canal treatment. In extreme cases, untreated dental abscesses could even end up causing septicemia.
Then there are the cosmetic effects – gum and bone recession could lead to some of your precious teeth falling out, and your smile could end up stained and yellow.
Prevention is the best cure
Many Kiwis tend to put off going to the dentist until there is a noticeable problem, such as a painful or damaged tooth. However, many issues arising from poor dental care don't have obvious symptoms until they have reached advanced stages, when they could impact your overall wellbeing and lifestyle. Around 10 per cent of Kiwis take time off school or work each year as a result of dental problems, according to the New Zealand Health Survey.
Instead of waiting until you have a problem, you should make dental check ups part of your routine. Going at least once a year can help ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy, keeping decay and other issues at bay.
If you're guilty of skipping dental visits, it's not to late to come in for a check up! Book an appointment and come and see us as soon as you can.