This is a valid question any person should ask. If regular check ups are not necessary, why do it?!? If they are – WHY are they?
To answer the question I think about the number of different aspects a dental exam has, however not all of them are significant to each person in particular.
I will mention the 3 main reasons that probably affect the majority of the patient population:
Detecting cavities – the earlier you discover them, the easier they are to treat. Unfortunately for all of us, a cavity never stops growing – there is too much bacteria in our mouths. But treating them delays the inevitable – i.e. root canal therapy and/or extraction. Preventing them would be even better!
Detecting gum disease. There is nothing more upsetting for me, than having to remove virgin teeth, just because of periodontal disease. Gum disease is also inevitable due to aging, but you can delay it very easily.
Detecting pathology in the mouth. There are the big things: cancers, abscesses, fractures etc. but also the mouth can lead to other diagnosis, also very important: diabetes, acid reflux, candidiasis, sinus infections, anemia, vit. B deficiency and others.