Risk assessment has become one of the major buzzwords in the world of business in recent years. It seems that no kind of major investment can take place without everybody assessing what could go wrong and being as sure of their position as possible. Many people are taking this concept to heart when it comes to their health, as well and working out how vulnerable they are to problems going forward. Did you know, however, that you can also figure out your risk potential for dental decay? How do the experts approach this type of assessment?
Few people can go through life without needing some kind of dental treatment. As you may know, the type of food and drink that is prevalent in the typical Australian diet can often "do a number" on your dentition, causing decay and presenting issues. But not everybody is the same and your risk of developing problems that need treatment by the dentist is going to be different than the next person.
Understanding the Different Factors
It can be confusing to consider a case where one person eating exactly the same type of diet needs only cursory visits to the dentist, while another needs a long course of treatment. This is because there is a fine line between several factors that either promote good oral health or trigger disease. These factors are very rarely in balance, so how do you determine your risk?
Starting the Analysis
To analyse your situation, dentists will have a look at your prior history. They need to investigate cavities you may have and take a series of x-rays. They'll be able to have a look at the surfaces of your teeth and in particular can look for specific white spots or lesions that can often be found where opposing teeth touch each other.
They will also be able to measure how much of the body's natural defence mechanism, saliva, you actually produce. They will then factor into the equation whether you take any medicines that are known to cause dryness and will analyse your diet to see if you have a particularly sweet tooth and eat problematic foods.
Once they know the shape of the opposing "army" they will have a look at your firepower to see what kind of a defence you can put up. They do this by looking at the make-up of the tooth surfaces, where specific high and low points may be more prone to assault by incoming bacteria, due to their very shape. They add to this information the result of a sample, showing the levels of bad bacteria normally present in your mouth.
Using the Data
This can present a lot of data and will allow a specialist to come up with a battle plan specific to you. This may involve taking a certain mouth rinse to normalise pH levels and counter the bad bacteria, or the use of a different type of toothpaste which has more fluoride than average.
Getting Your Report
So, if you want to take a trip into the future and see what's in store for you, have a word with a dental professional to get an analysis.