Who Should go for a Dental Checkup - High Risk Factors

Who Should go for a Dental Checkup?

Dr.I Vijayalakshmi Murthy profile Authored by Dr.I Vijayalakshmi Murthy on 8 Feb 2016 - 14:25.


Though scheduling dental visits really should be based upon each person's oral hygiene, habits and medical conditions, dental and health organizations recommend getting a dental check done twice a year for cleaning and checkup. This helps to check for cavities and gum diseases that are preventable. A good oral health will ensure good bodily health.

A regular dentist visit is recommended even though you take good care of your oral health and maintain good oral hygiene. A dental check up will help you clear out any problems that you may not see or feel. Dental problems for most part do not cause pain until they are in advanced stages. For example cavities, gum disease and oral cancer show up when it is too late to be cured. Therefore regular visits to the dentist will help identify early signs of disease, making treatment manageable for both patients and doctors.

Some may manage with fewer visits and some make it twice a year. Those with low risk for gum disease or cavities are fine seeing their dentist once a year. Those with high risk must visit a dentist at least 3 to 4 times a year.

Some high risk factors for frequent dental checkups include:

  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • People affected with gum disease
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with weak immunity or with bacterial infections
  • Those with a tendency to develop cavities or plaque

The schedule really depends on various factors and may change in a lifetime. A stressful situation or a frequent or long term illness also call for seeing a dentist more often than usual. The dentist may help you to fight off a temporary infection or treat changes in your mouth.

If you take good care of your oral health everyday and your dentist doesn't find any cavities or gum disease for a few years, the frequency of visits can be altered. Your dentist will be the best person to advise you on the best schedule for your routine dental visits.

First Visit: A dentist will examine your dental health and get a full health history. Follow-up visits help to examine your health status and check for any changes in your health.

What to expect from most trips to the dentist?

  • Cleaning: The dentist will perform thorough cleaning by scraping along and below the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar which can be the cause for gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. Polishing and flossing of your teeth will also be done by your dentist as part of the cleaning process.

  • Full examination of your oral health –A thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, will be done to observe the signs of disease or other problems.

  • X-Rays – In case of an injury to jawbone, impacted teeth, broken teeth, dental abscesses, cysts or tumors, X-rays help detect hidden problems that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. X-Rays also play an important role in diagnosis and treatment planning.


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