We know that nobody wants to be in pain, dealing with dental issues and declining dental health, so the question is, how often should you visit your dentist? Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple number. Prior to knowing how often is right for you, remember it is important be comfortable when visiting your dentist. Make sure you and your family have a dentist you can trust, and this will make all the difference to your visits.
When do I know how often to visit the dentist?
A common and misconceived perception is that an individual should be visiting the dentist twice a year. However, at ethical dental, we do not follow the “one size fits all” approach. The reason that individuals visit the dentist in the first place are most commonly to stop a problem from happening, or to catch something before it worsens. So, the question is, how long does it take for a problem to get from bad to worse? Of course, this is different for each and every person.
Personalised medicine is all about looking at an individual. It is important to take into account their risks and preferences before assigning a medical solution. For example, let’s look at sunburn. For a person with olive skin, walking out in the sun for half an hour may not be a worry at all, they are at low risk of being sunburnt. However, an individual with fair skin is at medium to high risk of suburb and may consider taking the precautionary steps when going in the sun such as wearing a hat. For those at high risk of being sunburnt such as children, you may consider covering up completely from the sun. As you can see, the same applies for dentistry, your required visits to the dentist will depend on your risk.
What is my risk?
When it comes to each patient, we look at everyone differently and consider what their risks are before designing a solution. Some of the patients will be at a much higher risk than others, and in this case we will require to see them more often than someone at a lower risk.
Examples of High Risk Patients:
- Immunocompromised (may have gone through radiotherapy)
- Issues brushing their teeth
In this case: we may require to see you every 3 months or sooner as you are at risk of a minor problem turning into a severe one very quickly.
Examples of Medium Risk Patients:
- Dietary risks
- Increased snacking
- Difficulty cleaning
- Active disease
In this category: you are at a lower risk but still have problems that need to be monitored. So, you may be required to visit the dentist every 6 months.
Examples of Low Risk Patients:
- Great home care
- Good diet
- Healthy lifestyle
These patients are at a low risk of having frequent dental issues and less preventative measures need to be taken. A visit to the dentist may be as infrequent as yearly.
In addition to your regular checkups, there are times where a visit to the dentist is necessary for other issues. This can be times where you experience sudden pain chewing, or noticing some swelling to the face.
It is also important to note that children, especially at a young age, don’t always know how to communicate that they are in pain. It may be the case that they have damaged a tooth or are experiencing pain without telling you what is bothering them. In order to identify and prevent the problem, it is important that your child visits the dentist regularly.
By maintaining a regular schedule of dental visits, your teeth will be healthy and further dental issues will be prevented.