It may be tempting to put off your dental cleaning and check-up due to COVID-19.

But, if you are in overall good health, delaying that check-up could be putting you at risk for more painful and more expensive dental care in the future.

Dr. Hinze said prevention is the key, and the only way to catch dental problems early is through annual or semi-annual check-ups and cleanings.

A smaller cavity is much easier to fix than a larger one.

“Once a cavity penetrates through the enamel, it continues to grow,” Dr. Hinze said. “And bigger fillings are more likely to break in the future than smaller ones.”

Dr. Hinze and his staff are wearing masks and face shields in the office and have strengthened safety and sanitation procedures to prevent possible COVID-19 infection and spread.

Despite implementing new safety protocols, Dr. Hinze cautioned that patients should only visit if they are comfortable. Patients who have underlying health problems that could put them at extra risk are encouraged to use their best judgment on whether or not to schedule an appointment.

Patients need to also weigh the danger of delaying dental appointments as routine dental check-ups and cleanings can help patients avoid serious dental problems and can help catch other medical issues.

While hygienists and dentists are looking in a patient’s mouth, they may be able to detect symptoms of other serious health problems, such as GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), which over time can lead to cancer.

The dentist can also encourage patients to visit their doctor if they notice inflammation and bleeding in the gums that may indicate diabetes or heart disease.

While making time to visit the dentist may seem challenging, especially during COVID-19, it’s an important part of an overall health routine to keep you on a journey of good health.

Schedule your regular checkup with Dr. Hinze today by calling Kay at (308) 995-5331.