On average, most people with generally healthy gums and teeth should schedule a dental exam, along with a teeth cleaning, every six months.
Unfortunately, people are sometimes tempted to delay appointments and dental work to save time and money. However, in the long run, skipping a checkup can be very costly to your wallet and your health. Dental problems are typically a lot less expensive and much easier to treat when detected early.
Also, some people should actually visit the dentist more often than every six months. If one of the following pertains to you, more frequent appointments may be recommended:
- Gum disease (periodontitis): If you have active gum disease, you should see your periodontist (gum specialist) for more frequent evaluations and treatment.
- TMJ Disorder: Periodic evaluations are often recommended to examine improvement and changes in signs and symptoms due to treatment.
- Invisalign® and all orthodontics: Appointments every 4-8 weeks are typically needed during active orthodontics or Invisalign.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or severe snoring: A mandibular repositioning device, used to help patients with OSA and/or snoring, often necessitate frequent adjustments, especially in the beginning of treatment.
- History of mouth cancer: Some types of oral cancer have a higher rate of reoccurrence, so frequent evaluations are essential.
- Certain medical conditions or medical procedures: Some medical conditions (like sjogren’s syndrome) can exaggerate dental problems. Also, doctors sometimes require clearance from a dentist before particular medical procedures (like hip replacements) can be performed.
As always, please let me know if there is another dental related topic that you would like me to discuss on my Palm Beach Cosmetic Dentistry blog.