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3 Services That Dentists Offer That Their Patients May Not Know About

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Visits to the dentist are recommended at least a couple of times a year for the average person. Most of the time these visits are primarily focused on preventative care in the form of teeth cleanings. However, a visit to a general dentist also can involve cavity fillings, crowns, root canals, and other common dental procedures. What many patients don't realize is that there are many other services general dentists offer that they might not be taking advantage of. Here are three services that many patients are not aware of that may be offered by their local dentist.

Tobacco Cessation

Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States with cigarette smoking killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Kicking the habit can be difficult but it can also have many positive impacts on a person's long term health. A person's dentist often sees the effects of smoking on the teeth before any other medical professional mainly because smokers are 50% more likely to develop gum disease. The dentist can help their patients who use tobacco products by helping them to create a tobacco cessation plan. A dentist can help their patient figure out what new habits and medications can help them quit for good.

TMJ Pain Treatment

Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, also referred to as TMJ, are a group of conditions that cause pain in and around the jaw. It's estimated that over 10 million Americans are affected by these disorders. Finding relief can be difficult but a general dentist can help. A dentist can recommend diet changes, jaw exercises, and relaxation techniques that can help with these disorders. Dentists can also create mouthguards for their patients, which are successful at reducing TMJ pain for some patients. 

Teeth Sealants

Some patients are more cavity prone than others. Even with proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet, cavities can be a big issue for some individuals. Luckily there are treatments that can help. Teeth sealants can reduce the chance of decay by up to 80% in molars. Sealants are a great choice for children who are prone to cavities as well as for adults. While the procedure is becoming more popular, there are plenty of patients who are unaware that their dentist may offer this effective treatment.

Visits to the dentist often involve a teeth cleaning and a few common minor dental procedures. However, what many don't realize is that dentists provide a variety of services that can help beyond just removing plaque and filling cavities. Dentists can help patients stop using tobacco products, can treat TMJ pain, and can even put sealants on the teeth to prevent cavities. For more information, contact establishments like Brookside Dental Associate.