I like to see children for the first time at about the age of three. It's a good time to get them used to having their teeth cleaned and checked. More importantly, it means we can nip serious problems that require uncomfortable treatments in the bud - avoiding procedures that might make them dread dental visits in the future.
Your regular six month exam is where we check for more serious causes of sensitivity. If cracked teeth, receding gums, gingivitis or periodontal disease are at fault, the earlier we detect the problem and begin treatment the better.
Second, we treat all our patients like family. Our caring staff will explain every step in your treatment, so there will never be any surprises. We've discovered over the years that a lot of the anxiety patients experience is really fear of the unknown.
Our priority is to turn the "white knuckle" visit you are dreading into a pleasant, relaxing experience.
Unless your silver filling is cracked or there is decay underneath it, there is no real need to replace it. For most patients the cost and inconvenience of replacing their metal fillings is not outweighed by the cosmetic benefits.
Left untreated gingivitis, which effects only the gums, can advance to periodontitis - an inflammation that spreads and grows beneath the gum line and damages the bone, gums and tissue that hold your teeth in place.
Depending on the extent of the infection, treatment for periodontitis can involve deep cleaning techniques like scaling or root planing to remove plaque below the gum line along with antibiotics. In extreme cases, surgical options might be necessary. They include lifting back the gums to remove the tartar (flap surgery) or bone and tissue grafts to regenerate any bone or gum tissue destroyed by the disease.
(As a point of comparison, a mammogram exposes a patient to 60 times the radiation as a digital x-ray, and a chest CT scan gives off 2,800 times as much radiation.)