by Joanna Atherfold Finn

It’s tempting to wait until a toothache before making a dental appointment, but you may be contributing to chronic disease or costly problems through avoidance. The importance of regular dental checkups can’t be overstated. What’s On In Our Backyard caught up with Bay Dental to find out more.

Bay Dental was established in 2005 by Dr Vas Kalyvas. With more than 50 years’ combined experience, Vas and his dental team offer specialisations including dental implants (Dr Vas Kalyvas), laser and periodontal treatments (Dr Steven Bartley), facial aesthetics (Dr Huw Morgan), general dentistry (Dr Kerin Jacob) and oral health (Melissa Latimore). Bay Dental is the first dental practice in the Bay to offer in-surgery dental implant procedures. They have the added convenience of onsite state-of-the-art imaging equipment to diagnose and plan extensive treatment plans. The team responded to our dental check-up challenge with some great advice:

Regular checkups are vital from a young age

Childhood checkups are a perfect opportunity to introduce dental and diet education and offer advice to parents to help prevent tooth decay. Early detection and planning of malocclusion (bite) allows patients to get the right treatment at the right time to ensure their dentition is perfect for adult life.

Bay Dental dentists and tooth fairies visit local schools and kindergartens to help build confidence and reduce anxiety.

Pain shouldn’t be the first point of call

Try to attend the dentist before pain occurs. Early treatment is likely to be less invasive and economical. If you are in pain, only a dentist will identify specifically what the cause is and how to treat it. Antibiotics reduce the symptoms but don’t treat the cause. Modern dentistry should allow all treatment undertaken to be pain free with a range of pain relief treatments.

Poor oral health impacts overall health

Oral health is integral to general health. Tooth loss is directly associated with deteriorating diet and compromised nutrition, which can impair general health and exacerbate existing health conditions. The mouth is often an entry point for infections, which may spread to other parts of the body. Research indicates there are associations between chronic oral infections and heart and lung disease, stroke, diabetes, low birth rate and premature babies.

Cavities are just one part of the equation

Apart from checking for cavities, X-rays might be taken to detect cavities between your teeth. The exam will also include a plaque and tartar check as build up on your teeth can cause oral diseases. Following this, your gums will be checked. The checkup should also include a careful examination of your tongue, throat, face and neck to identify any signs of trouble such as swelling, redness or possible signs of cancer.

Dental anxiety is common, but modern dentistry has solutions

It is very common for people to be anxious when visiting the dentist. It can, however, be a very positive and enriching experience where a dental issue can be discovered early on and easily prevented.

It is important to view a dental checkup as just a friendly conversation with the dentist where every treatment is individualised and tailored to provide the best outcome for your overall dental health and well-being. Bay Dental offers professional, well planned and safe treatment starting from the moment a patient calls to make an appointment.

Don’t believe the ads – no one cleans like a dentist

A professional clean removes the calcified plaque (calculus) that can build up in time and, once formed, it is impossible
for the toothbrush to remove it. Calculus needs to be removed with special cleaning equipment to prevent periodontal disease. The main goal for dentists is to keep your gums as healthy as possible as gum disease can lead to tooth loss and contribute to further chronic diseases within the body.