SHOULD I GO TO THE DENTIST?
Going to the dentist is never someone’s favorite thing. Many of our patients come in to see us at different intervals. How often you go to the dentist can be different from your mom, child, or best friend. Each patient is unique in how often they come and why they come.
A hygienist usually sets the intervals on how often a patient should be seen for their cleaning based on the patient’s periodontal condition and general oral health.
During a new patient visit, we will typically determine how often your hygienist will want to see you. Every person should be seen at a dental office at least twice per year. These visits should be separated by no more than 6 months. Not every person will fall under the 6-month cleaning schedule. Patients who are healthy and can be seen every 6 months typically need prophylaxis cleaning. These visits consist of a cleaning and exam with yearly x-rays and perio charting performed once a year. Patients are seen for a Prophy cleaning typically have no gingivitis or perio concerns and have a low risk for cavities.
Patients with mild gingivitis or higher risk for decay may be recommended to come in every 3-4 months. These patients are seen more often to evaluate the progress of the gums and tooth decay. If a patient becomes stable and improves they can be seen at a 6-month interval again.
Some patients need to be seen every 3 months in our office. These patients are considered Perio patients and either needs Perio Therapy or have had Perio Therapy in the past. Perio Therapy is an in-depth cleaning done by the hygienist under local anesthetic. Once perio therapy is completed patients are seen at 3-month intervals for perio maintenance, to ensure that the gum health improves and decay is taken care of promptly. Once a patient has perio we keep them at a 3 to 4-month interval so the condition does not worsen.
We also see patients who have upper and lower dentures. It is very important to still be seen at a dental clinic every 6 months. During a denture maintenance appointment, we inspect the dentures or partials, clean them, and exam the tissues. These appointments are still completed by a hygienist and doctor. Some edentulous patients prefer to come in at yearly intervals, though every 6 months is recommended.
If you have questions on how often you should be seen, one of our hygienists would be happy to evaluate you and get you back on track with your dental needs. Contact us today to understand if it’s time for you to see a dentist.