Is it bad I haven’t been to the dentist in 7 years?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Visiting the dentist regularly is essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing dental problems. While it’s recommended to have a dental check-up every six months, life can get busy, and it’s understandable that some people may not have been to the dentist in several years. However, it’s important to address any concerns and take action to ensure your oral health is not compromised.

If you haven’t been to the dentist in seven years, there is a higher likelihood that you may have developed one or two cavities. Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which occurs when bacteria in your mouth produce acids that erode the enamel, leading to small holes in your teeth. These cavities can vary in size and severity, and without treatment, they can worsen over time, leading to more significant dental issues.

When you visit the dentist after a long period of time, they will thoroughly examine your teeth and may take X-rays to identify any cavities that are not visible to the naked eye. If cavities are detected, the dentist will recommend appropriate treatment, such as fillings, to restore the affected teeth. Fillings involve removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the area with a dental material to prevent further damage.

In some cases, if tooth decay has progressed significantly and reached the underlying pulp, you may experience severe pain or sensitivity. This indicates that the infection has spread and you may require root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is a procedure where the dentist removes the infected pulp, cleans the root canals, and seals them to prevent further infection. This treatment is crucial to save the tooth from extraction and alleviate the pain associated with the infection.

It’s important to note that avoiding the dentist for an extended period can lead to more serious dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth loss. Regular dental check-ups allow the dentist to identify any issues early on and provide appropriate treatment to prevent further complications. Additionally, the dentist can perform professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

I understand that visiting the dentist can be intimidating, especially after a long gap. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your oral health and seek professional care. Dentists are trained to provide a comfortable and supportive environment, and they will work with you to address any concerns or fears you may have.

In my personal experience, I had a similar situation where I hadn’t visited the dentist for several years. When I finally made an appointment, I discovered I had a few cavities that required fillings. The dentist explained the procedure to me and made sure I was comfortable throughout the treatment. Although I was initially anxious, the experience turned out to be much better than I had anticipated. Taking that step to visit the dentist and addressing the cavities early on saved me from potential complications in the future.

To sum up, if you haven’t been to the dentist in several years, it’s likely that you may have developed one or two cavities that require attention. It’s crucial to address these issues promptly to prevent further damage and complications. Additionally, if you are experiencing severe pain, it could indicate an infection that has reached the pulp, requiring root canal therapy. It’s never too late to prioritize your oral health and seek professional dental care.