Questions Every Patient Should Be Asking The Dentist

With information literally available at a patient’s fingertips, there is always the risk that a patient receives misinformation from spurious sources with regards to their dental health. It is advised that a patient always check the credibility of the information they receive with a professional dental practitioner. A visit to a dentist in W1 for a check-up appointment is an opportune time to have one’s questions and concerns addressed.

Importance of asking questions

The best way for a patient to learn about the condition of their dental health and what they can do to prevent dental diseases is through asking questions. A patient with just one missing tooth may not place much importance on it; after all there are many more teeth to rely upon. But, even a single missing tooth is a case for concern as it can negatively impact neighbouring teeth and bone quality. By a patient asking about dental treatments available to replace a missing tooth, they have options to consider that will promote their dental health.

Four essential questions patients should ask during a dental appointment

  1. Is there anything I should be concerned about regarding my general health?

A dental examination can reveal more than just the state of teeth and gums. Dental practitioners can identify certain markers that point to the existence of systemic disease in a patient. For instance, dental practitioners can point out evidence of malnutrition, uncontrolled diabetes and autoimmune conditions amongst other health concerns.

  1. How healthy are my gums?

The healthy condition of a patient’s gums is critical for dental health. Patients often overlook the importance of gum screening for assessing the health of gums. According to the British Society of Periodontology, over 45 per cent of UK adults have gum disease. Gum disease puts the patient at risk of losing teeth as compromised gums can no longer hold teeth in place. This is a treatable dental condition. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the quicker the patient can turn the condition around.

  1. Am I brushing and flossing correctly?

Many patients are surprised when they learn that despite them brushing twice a day, they have cavities that need to be filled. While brushing and flossing are absolutely essential to keep teeth and gums in top condition, there are right and wrong ways to clean teeth. For example, patients may erroneously think that using a hard-bristled brush will do a good job. But this type of brush can cause damage to the surface of teeth as well as gums. According to NHS guidelines on keeping teeth clean and healthy, patients should spend at least two minutes brushing their teeth. Patients need to use the correct dental tools and apply proper cleaning techniques for these to be effective. Checking with a professional dental practitioner is the best way to get the information required.

  1. Should I correct misaligned teeth?

Having a full set of teeth is ideal for every patient, but they should not forget that straightening or correcting teeth is just as important. Crooked teeth pose a few problems for patients – physically as well as psychologically. Teeth and gums are harder to clean; there may be eating and chewing difficulties and there can be an adverse impact on self-confidence. The appearance of a patient’s teeth has been found to affect their willingness to smile. Statistics released by a study initiated by the Oral Health Foundation found that 51 per cent of UK adults feel awkward about smiling.

The next time you need a dental check-up, don’t be in a hurry to leave the dental chair at the speed of light. Instead have your questions and concerns answered by a professional dental practitioner at your clinic.