A few generations ago, most people visited the local dentist mainly for problems, such as a toothache or a wisdom tooth that needed to be pulled. However, in the last 50 years or so, dental hygiene and oral health have assumed a more prominent role in health care. Now it is common practice for people to get twice-yearly dental checkups to prevent problems. Dentistry today provides more than just basic dental care, though. Routine dental exams help to diagnose and treat a number of related issues and establish a foundation for lifelong dental health.


Preschool children should be seen by a family dentist ottawa for an introductory checkup. Along with an exam at the mouth and jaws, x-rays may be ordered to check the development of permanent teeth that have not yet erupted through the gums. Other issues, such as jawbone malformations or soft tissue problems, can also be evaluated and the child sent for referral to a specialist if necessary. Getting children accustomed to dental visits at an early age prepares them for years of appropriate dental care that can lead to good oral health for years to come.


At this stage, boys and girls should be evaluated by the dentist for possible need of orthodontic work to straighten teeth, close gaps between teeth, and work on an attractive, healthier bite and smile. Although the dentist does not provide orthodontic treatment, he or she can refer young patients to a skilled orthodontic practice for evaluation. Orthodontic treatment can help to eliminate embarrassment from crooked teeth or a misaligned smile, instilling confidence in young boys and girls as they prepare for their teenage years.


In addition to tooth fillings or extractions as needed, adult dental services may include diagnosis of gum disease or conditions like oral cancer. When caught early, these conditions are treatable, and patients can be referred to specialists for treatment. Adults may also be reminded of the need for proper dental care, including daily brushing and flossing, and possibly a fluoride rinse. Root canals, crowns, or bridges can also be preliminarily addressed by a visit to the dentist.


Aging patients often experience gum retraction, bone loss, and loose teeth. The dentist can identify these issues and treat them directly or refer the patient to a specialist. Seniors may request information about orthodontic work to preserve teeth or discuss options for a bridge or retainer to retain teeth.

Today’s dental practice is far more than an office for having painful teeth pulled or the occasional filling, although these services may be necessary at times. A professional dental practice offers a full range of services that help to preserve dental health for years to come.

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