How often should I go to the dentist?

When you think about going to the dentist, do you normally think about visiting every six months? Visits to the dentist twice a year are common but your personal need for an exam and cleaning may be different than twice a year.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you not only visit your dentist regularly but also that you allow your dentist to determine the cleaning interval that best meets your needs for optimal oral health. Their recommendation is based on a 2013 study in the Journal of Dental Research that researched patient risk status and frequency of preventive visits on tooth loss. The ADA says that patients should consider their frequency of dental cleaning and exam be based on their dentist’s assessment of their individual oral health condition, health history, and oral disease risk.

Personalized Dental Care

Individualized care is a team approach to dental care that involves you as part of the team, which is necessary for your best oral health!  

Discussing your risk factors with your dentist is the first step to determining your own dental care needs. This team approach also encourages you to work closely with your dentists and hygienist here at Verber Family Dentistry to identify any potential risk factors that would determine the need for and frequency of preventative visits to enhance the outcomes of your dental health

Frequency of Visits

Because a dental cleaning removes harmful bacteria from your teeth and gums, having those cleanings at proper intervals can prevent damage to your oral tissues.

The goal of determining the frequency in which you should have a cleaning is to be able to ward off bigger and more costly problems. Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease can both lead to pain and even tooth loss. They are also more costly than adding a few additional dental cleanings per year.

Typically, patients at low risk for oral diseases can maintain good oral health by visiting their dental office every six months. Patients who are at higher risk can prevent or reduce the risk of oral diseases by having their cleanings increased to 3-4 times per year. 

More Frequent Visits Monitor Oral & Overall Health

While more frequent dental visits are targeting prevention of oral diseases and stabilization of periodontal disease, it is also important to know that your dental professionals are also monitoring your mouth for signs of more than just gum disease.  

2014 study found that people who had periodontal disease and other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis spent 41% less money on medical appointments related to their diseases if their periodontal disease was maintained.  

In addition to the possibility that more frequent dental visits can assist in maintaining better overall health, monitoring your mouth can also lead to discoveries of medical conditions and a referral to your physician. For example, pale gums can sometimes be a sign of anemia. Dry gums can indicate immuno-deficiency issues such as Sjogren’s syndrome or lupus. And unusual changes in your gums such as more bleeding and inflammation can be signs of diabetes. 

With more frequent visits, your dentist can serve as an important link between you and your doctor in helping to maintain your overall health.

We are here to help you decide how often you should visit our office. Call us at 717-737-4337 to schedule an appointment. 

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