The answer is yes because only a dentist can accurately diagnose conditions relating to your teeth and gums.
A dentist is asked to undergo an intense five year university degree course and even after they have qualified, they must sign for something called CPD which stands for continuous professional development know as lifelong learning.
This is important because you might think that you have something serious going on with your teeth and gums and in actual fact it may not be anything serious but just something that is quite minor and easy to treat. Conversely, you may have something which you don’t think it’s anything to worry about however it could turn out to be much more serious. There are many conditions which you as a patient will be unaware of that they can turn out to be serious and have long-term implications for you.
You can think of things as a triangle where the triangle consists of you, the dentist and both of you.
On your own, you can do many things to look after your mouth.
1) Probably the single most important thing is how you brush your teeth. Are you using the correct toothbrush, the correct technique and the correct toothpaste? As a dentist, it is not uncommon to see patients who can brush their teeth effectively. Many patients, who think they are brushing their teeth really well, are in fact not brushing that well at all. This can easily be demonstrated by the use of disclosing tablets which show up areas where the patient is not brushing well enough.
2) The diet is extremely important and the main enemy in your diet is sugar and acid. The obvious sugar sources are things such as sweets and biscuits but more sugar in your diet is called hidden sugar. Hidden sugar is added in foods where you least expected such as tomato ketchup. You never expect tomato ketchup to have so much sugar than it does have. Acid is also important and this comes from fizzy drinks. The acid will erode the enamel and this has consequences further down the line for you.
3) You should also be looking in your mouth at least once a month. This can highlight areas in your mouth where you may feel problems are arising. It could be a brown line around your white fillings at the front of the mouth or it could be that a black line is appearing around the gum line of your crowns.
The second part of the role is the dentist’s role in looking after your teeth. Dentists will tailor make the visits according to your needs. If you are a patient who has minimal problems and needs, it may only be necessary to see the dentist every 12 months. Conversely, a patient who has many problems such as gum disease will need to be seen every two months. Most patients do get to be seen between every two months and 12 months.
The third part of the triangle is where a dentist and a patient work as a team together. A good example is where a patient can bring his/her toothbrush to the dental visit and a dentist can advise on whether the type of toothbrushes is correct and whether you are using the correct technique. The dentist may also recommend additional oral hygiene implements such as dental floss and interdental brushes.
Also you both as a team can sit down and discuss ways in which you may be able to stop smoking or make changes to your diet in order to enhance your oral health.
In conclusion, it is extremely important and vital that you do go and see a dentist in order to have good teeth as it is a three-way partnership that we have discussed above.