How Often Do I Need to Have a Dental Examination?

If you are wondering how frequently you should visit the dentist for a dental examination, you are not alone. Most people question whether dental examinations should occur every six months, every year or at a different frequency. A regular dental examination is necessary to ensure problems are tended to before they worsen to the point that an expensive procedure is necessary.

People wonder when it is necessary to receive a dental examination and how frequently they should continue to receive them each year. Fortunately, we can help answer that.

A Look at the Proper Frequency of Dental Examinations

People who have a particularlya high risk of gum disease or cavities should meet with their dentist for a dental examination every three months. People who are receiving active dental treatment will also require dental examinations at such a high frequency. Patients who are at low risk for cavities, gum disease and other oral health maladies will not require as many professional cleanings if they keep up a specific level of care.

In general, those who have spectacular oral health should visit the dentist's office once every six months or year. Some dentists recommend patients with good oral health visit every six months so the initial signs of problems can be identified sooner rather than later. A yearly X-ray will likely be taken during the dental examination to gather diagnostic information necessary to understand and improve patient health.

Why Frequent Dental Examinations are Necessary

The timely diagnosis of oral health issues is necessary to prevent such problems from becoming hazardous. So do not think of your 6-month dental examination as a hassle. Try to think of this experience as an opportunity for dentists to pinpoint problems while they are minor in nature. This frequency of analysis provides your dentist with the opportunity to highlight problems before they worsen to the point that they prove egregiously costly or even impossible to repair.

Do not go Longer Than a Year to Visit With the Dentist

If you wait longer than a year to visit with the dentist for a dental examination, you run the risk of calculus hardening to plaque and connecting to the tooth. The timely removal of calculus is necessary to prevent it from moving below the gum line. Your toothbrush and floss can only clean away so much calculus and plaque. Plaque is a nearly translucent film that sticks to the teeth.

If plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth and gums, it will cause inflammation that signals the onset of periodontal disease. You can prevent such negative outcomes by visiting the dentist at least once every year. Furthermore, 6-month or yearly dental visits will provide the dentist with the opportunity to analyze your mouth, throat, neck and face for signs of cancer. You cannot perform such a self-diagnosis on your own as you will have no idea what to look for.

The Verdict

When in doubt, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. If your teeth and/or gums are not in good shape, meet with your dentist every 3-6 months. If your teeth and gums are in decent shape, meet with your dentist every six months to be on the safe side. If you cannot make your 6-month dental appointment, do not let it slide beyond the one-year mark.

For more oral hygiene information or to schedule a dental appointment with Montpelier Family Dentistry, request an appointment in our Laurel dental office here: Or call us at (301) 605-1132.

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