How often should you see a dentist for a dental exam and why?

In dentistry, having a routine dental exam can help to avoid the emotional and financial pain associated with large treatment plans due to oral neglect.

Prevention is the first line of defense against significant oral health problems. Remember, an ounce of prevention goes a long way.

Generally speaking, individuals should see their dentist every 6 months. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an insipient stage. Have the teeth debrided of plaque and tartar and receive a dental exam which thoroughly checks the teeth and gums. Bitewing x-rays should be taken at least every 12 months to help identify cavities or gum problems that lie between the teeth. Every 3 to 5 years a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head should be taken. This is a very important radiograph that is used to detect the presence of: gum disease, wisdom teeth, tmj abnormalities, cancers of the jaws, sinus problems, and erupting or impacted teeth.

The above schedule would be considered a routine frequency of exam, cleaning and x-rays. There are instances, however, where individuals should have a schedule custom tailored to meet differing dental needs. For example, a person with gum disease may need to receive more frequent cleanings than a person with pristine oral health.

An individual that often has tooth decay may require individual x-rays on an increased basis so that cavities in between the teeth are found before they grow large. These people need to be closely monitored and may benefit from a bi-yearly in office fluoride treatment.

The above examples serve only to show your that your dentist should help guide you toward what is in your best interest in maintaining optimal oral health.

Often individuals without dental insurance will put off regular visits to the dental office. Years of experience prove that it is less costly to these people to go regularly to their dentist, have a dental exam and pay as they receive care, than to wait until they are insured. The waiting game will generally amount to work that will cost far in excess of what the insurance will cover.

Be proactive in your oral health. Visit your dentist regularly.

Which smile looks better?



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