I have been asked how often do I need to see the dentist? The short answer is it depends on the person and the health of the mouth and body. For a long time, the correlation between a healthy body and a healthy mouth has been determined. Most dental diseases are associated with bacterial infections that occur in the mouth. If a person has no decay present and the gums are healthy and don’t bleed, then seeing the dentist two times a year can help ensure the mouth stays healthy. Normally, this occurs when a patient uses floss or a water pick and brushes in the morning and before bed. A healthy diet is also important as good nutrients influence the condition of the mouth.
If a person has multiple fillings, crowns, or has decay, then seeing the dentist more regularly is advised until all decay is removed; especially if gum and or bone disease is present. Bleeding gums are a sign of active dental infection. The presence of periodontal disease or bone loss around teeth is an indication that more frequent, usually quarterly visits to the dentist are advised. Periodontal disease is not a curable condition; however, the disease can usually be successfully maintained with more frequent therapy as well as a great home care regiment by a patient on a daily basis. In a nutshell, patient care intervals are best individualized to suit each patient in order to keep them in a state of optimal health.
Another consideration should be made, a yearly oral cancer examination should be performed on all patients, especially those over 18 years of age. Many don’t know oral cancer is the 6th leading cancer in the US and the dentist is the first line of defense to detect oral cancer in the most early stages. Finally, tooth habits like clenching of teeth and grinding can cause significant damage and are best monitored and treated to prevent tooth and enamel break down.