The typical recommendation for routine dental checkups is once every six months. However, depending on a few factors, your dentist may require you to come more often. For patients who maintain a good daily dental care routine and are at low risk of developing gum disease, an annual visit is sufficient.
Patients who have underlying medical conditions or a compromised immune system may need to schedule quarterly visits. Some patients ask why routine dental checkups are necessary, especially if they don’t have cavities or any pressing dental issues. First, let’s take a look at what a routine dental checkup involves.
Importance of regular dental checkup
Your dental checkup typically begins with a professional cleaning from a dental hygienist. He or she will remove plaque and tartar build-up, floss thoroughly, apply fluoride, and polish your teeth. Your dentist will then come in to examine your mouth, tongue, throat, face, and neck. Here are three reasons why this is important:
As dental professionals, our goal is to prevent the onslaught of gum disease and other oral problems. While we certainly have the tools and skills in our dental care clinic to address issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss, it’s much less painful and less expensive to prevent these problems rather than cure them.
A combination of excellent daily oral hygiene, good nutrition, and regular dental checkups can significantly reduce your risk of dental problems.
Without regular dental checkups, any cavities, broken fillings, or plaque build-up is left undetected. If proper treatment is not administered, these issues can potentially become a bigger problem. Small cavities can turn into tooth decay that requires a root canal or tooth extraction, plaque build-up can impact the health of gums and lead to infection, and gum disease will be left untreated.
Routine check-ups help your dentist detect issues early on to avoid extensive dental work, which can include extractions and surgery. Furthermore, your dentist can also identify signs of oral cancer, a serious disease that needs to be promptly addressed.
When you maintain regular check-ups, you and your dentist naturally establish a trusting, long-term patient-dentist relationship. Your dentist can monitor the health of your teeth, the progression of any issues, and spot areas of concern that may not have been visible in previous appointments.
As we age, our health shifts, which also impacts our oral health. If you’ve developed other physical conditions, your dentist can create a specialized treatment plan that will maintain the health of your teeth for life.