In today’s world, we like to stay busy. Productivity experts across the nation agree that in addition to work, more of us are voluntarily spending our time shuttling from classes to committee meetings and sports practices and scheduling our time down to the half hour. That doesn’t leave much time to worry about our teeth and gums. Yet, even in this go-go-go world, taking the time to schedule and attend regular preventive dental checkups with your family dentist is essential to staying healthy.
Finding the Time for a Dental Checkup
First, let’s consider two facts:
- The American Dental Association recommends that people of all ages attend preventive care appointments every six months to ensure that oral health issues are identified early and existing problems are kept in check.
- The average dental checkup only requires about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on wait time, paper work, and how much you need to discuss with your dentist.
No matter how busy you perceive your schedule to be, it’s very likely you can spare 45-90 minutes out of a six month period to dedicate to improving and maintaining your oral health.
Dental Checkups Actually Save You Time
We can use two common dentist office scenarios to illustrate how preventive dental care can save you time:
Scenario 1: Say you attend your regular six month dental checkup and discover, to your dismay, that you have a cavity, your dentist can place a filling during the same appointment. Dental fillings are placed in a little less than an hour and, even with the additional time spent in the chair, you’ve only sacrificed a couple of hours.
Scenario 2: You decide to skip your dental checkup because you feel you’re just too busy to drop everything and sit in a dentist’s office for a couple hours. By the time you make it to your next six month appointment, that little cavity that may have only required a filling may have deepened, causing you pain, discomfort, and the need for more extensive dental work, like an inlay or a crown, both of which could require additional visits and more time out of your schedule.
Clearly, Scenario 1 is the better option. Dental checkups allow you and your dentist to stay on top of your oral health situation so you can enjoy a healthier, nicer-looking smile and spend less time in the dentist’s office.