Dentists perform an important job, one that is one of the most respected and trusted in the United States. Maintaining oral hygiene is an important skill to have for your whole life, and dentists can help to educate and prevent dental problems before they occur. They are, of course, also qualified to treat problems that have already arisen.
It’s important to take your child to the family dentist from practically as soon as they get teeth. A family dental practice can help teach children how to properly care for their teeth from the beginning, preparing them to take care of and maintain their permanent teeth years in advance. By the time most people reach adulthood, they have some experiences with the fallout of improper dental care. One in five people in the United States has an untreated cavity, and this mainly affects people on the low end of the financial spectrum. The less financially stable you are, the less likely that you’ll be able to seek dental care when necessary (and dentists recommend that, ideally, you visit them twice a year).
Periodontal disease is also very common among adults, increasing in likelihood as you age. The majority of Americans over age 65 have some level of periodontal disease, a staggering 70%. For younger adults, 30 or over, the percentage is still high, over 40%. This is, again, most likely to occur in those without access to healthcare, those who are unable to afford it or don’t live in an area where it is readily available. Those living below the federal poverty line make up over 60% of affected patients, and those who do not have a high school diploma make up around 66% (it is clear here that these populations have a high degree of overlap).
For those who have had to go without a visit to the dentist because of financial limitations, access to cosmetic dentistry can be all the more important. The vast majority of Americans think that having a healthy, attractive smile is important, with 96% saying that a nice smile makes a person more attractive to the opposite sex. And about 75% believe that an unhealthy smile can hurt one’s chances professionally as well. Fortunately, dentists can provide services like dentures for those who’s teeth have not been well treated or cared for. Dentures are common in the United States, used by about 15% of the population every year. Dentures can provide a marked improvement in the quality of a smile, increasing confidence as well as professional success.