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How Often Should An Adult Visit a Family Dentist?
Regularly scheduled visits to a family dentist are necessary for all patients to maintain healthy gums and teeth throughout an entire lifetime. The frequency of recommended dental visits depends on a few factors, such as dental history, current dental health, and the likelihood of compliance with recommended dental at-home practices. All patients should consult with the dentist to set up a plan of care that is customized to fit specific needs.
Family dentist visit frequency
Patients do not need to have a current dental issue to schedule a visit with a family dentist. Regular visits help patients head off problems before they occur and correct issues in the early stages before they become more advanced.
Patients at low risk of dental problems
Individuals who have high levels of compliance with home dental care and oral hygiene may not need to visit the family dentist as frequently as those who have a history of dental concerns. Those who take extra care to brush and floss regularly and do not engage in activities that are degrading to tooth enamel, such as tobacco use, typically only need to visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning twice a year. During each visit, the teeth are examined for cavities or other concerns, a hygienist performs a cleaning, and sometimes X-rays may be taken.
Patients at higher risk of dental problems
Although most individuals can stick with a twice-yearly dental visit schedule, some patients are at higher risk for dental problems and may need to schedule a visit to the family dentist quarterly. Certain medical conditions also cause a predisposition for dental health problems that necessitate more frequent monitoring and care.
Tobacco users and those with diabetes or immune system deficiencies that lead to frequent infections should consult with a dentist to see if more frequent dental visits are recommended. Some patients also have poor compliance with dental care at home, which can quickly lead to tartar build-up and potential infections. Patients in this category should receive professional cleanings and evaluations more frequently.
Patients with known dental problems
An increase in dental appointment frequency may be recommended for people with known chronic dental concerns. Those who are prone to frequent cavities may need an exam to check for new decay every three to four months so the problem does not become more severe and the teeth can be saved. Gingivitis and gum disease also need frequent monitoring. Chronic dental conditions can lead to problems with the health of the entire body, so patients with diagnosed conditions need to receive regular professional dental care and remain compliant with any at-home dental care directions.
Although most patients with a low risk of developing dental problems can stick with scheduling a family dentist appointment twice a year, some people need to visit the dentist more frequently to head off any potential complications. Those who are at high risk of complications or have known dental-related diseases should consult with a dentist to see if a more frequent visit schedule is recommended.
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