The normal number of visits to the dentist each year is two, but is that the right number for you? There are circumstances when more visits are recommended.
The most common reason why people should make more visits to the dentist is that they have compromised health. There are many health conditions that can contribute to an increased risk of gum disease, or increased risk as a result of gum disease.
Diabetes can significantly increase your risk of gum disease, gum recession, and tooth loss. If you have diabetes, you should make at least three visits to your dentist every year.
People who are at increased risk from gum disease include people with AIDS or who have endocarditis. In these patients, gum disease has more serious consequences.
Some people are at increased risk of gum disease and have much more serious consequences from gum disease. During pregnancy, a woman should also make more visits to the dentist for gum disease prevention. Women are at increased risk of gum disease during pregnancy, and gum disease has been linked to negative pregnancy outcomes.
However, we may postpone some dental work until after pregnancy. Transplant patients are very vulnerable to infection and may be taking immune-suppressing medications to help prevent the rejection of organs. Chemotherapy patients may also be at increased risk for gum disease and may have more serious complications.
In these cases, your third visit and cleaning should be covered by insurance.
Other times, a third visit to the dentist in a year (or fourth or fifth, depending) is recommended for follow-up if you have received certain dental restorations or if you’re recovering from a certain treatment. If you have been treated for periodontitis, we’ll want to see you for more cleanings for a while until we are sure you’ve fully recovered.
Some restorations may also make more visits to the dentist advisable. Dental implants, for example, may benefit from an additional cleaning to preserve the gums and protect the implants from infection.
Additional visits may or may not be covered by insurance in these cases.
Other times, your lifestyle might make a difference in how often you should visit the dentist. Some choices you make may put you at increased risk for gum disease or gum recession. Smoking, for example, can be very bad for your oral health. Not only would you benefit from teeth whitening, either in-office or at home, but more regular checkups will help protect your teeth.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase your risk of gum disease.
If we notice a significant impact on your oral health by these lifestyle factors, we may recommend changes to your at-home oral hygiene, additional checkups, and cleanings, or all of the above.
Regular visits to the dentist are the best way to ensure you maintain proper oral health. If you think you are overdue for an office visit or are unsure how often you should visit the dentist in Beverly Hills, please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment at Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD today.