Have you been to the dentist lately? Over 60 percent of Americans report that they have seen a dentist within the past year. Some go in for regular checkups and cleanings because they understand how valuable these services are to their oral health. Others call for an appointment when they notice that something's wrong: a chipped tooth, swollen gums, or a toothache. These are just a few of the common problems that dentists treat successfully every day.
That still leaves over 100 million Americans who aren't getting the dental care they need — due in part to concerns about the cost of treatment, and a lack of information on oral health. Strikingly, the percentage of people reporting that the overall condition of their teeth is only fair or poor — about 40 percent — is around the same as those who haven't seen a dentist in a year or more. Yet it is well understood that when dental problems are found and treated promptly — or even better, prevented — the outcomes are usually more favorable, and the cost is generally much less. That's why it is so important to for you and your family to get prompt and appropriate dental treatment when needed.
If you have a problem that affects the way your teeth look or function, your general dentist can offer many solutions. He or she can place fillings, fix broken teeth, replace missing teeth, and improve the look of your smile with various dental treatments. Your general dentist can also refer you to a dental specialist if needed for procedures like orthodontics, oral surgery, or periodontal (gum) treatment.
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