Going to the dentist is so important and it’s part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dental visits should be frequent, however, there is no easy answer to determine how often you, as an individual, should go.
It is important to consider your overall health, your dental goals as well as your financial situation before determining how frequently you need to go to the dentist. Let’s get into it.
If your dental goal is to simply maintain and improve your oral health over time, you will be safe going to the dentist every six months.
On average, a dentist will suggest a bi-annual visit which will consist of a general cleaning by a dental hygienist, and then a thorough inspection by your dentist.
Going to the dentist twice per year is the best way to maintain the smile that you have. During the appointment, you can ask your dentist for any tips or concerns you may have about your oral health.
If, on the other hand, you require more extensive dental care, you may need to visit the dentist more frequently than the average bi-annual cleaning.
Depending on your needs, this will be determined by you and your dentist. However, let’s explore some examples of situations where you may need to see the dentist on a more frequent basis.
Gum disease is a severe infection that will require more frequent visits to the dentist in order to properly treat it. Most dentists will want to see a patient at least once every month to check in and ensure their treatment plan is working. Once the infection shows signs of improvement, patients can lessen the frequency of their dental visits and default to the bi-annual cleanings.
Dental implants require a significant amount of planning, and follow up with your dentist. In order for you to get the best results, your dentist will see you in an initial consultation. They will take scans of your teeth, and meet with you in several follow-up appointments before and after your procedure. After implant surgery is complete, you will require 3 to 4 months of healing time and then you must revisit your dentist to place a prosthetic crown on the implant.
Your wisdom teeth may require extraction, either as a preventative measure or in an emergency removal. Either way, your dentist will want to see you for follow-up after surgery. Most dentists will require a follow-up 2 weeks after surgery. depending on how things are healing you may only require 1-2 follow-ups.
You never know when a dental emergency will happen, but they will often require an unplanned visit to the dentist. Depending on the severity of your emergency your dentist will determine adequate amounts of follow-up time. This could range from weekly to monthly visits. As your symptoms improve your dentist will not need to see you as frequently.
Cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, or dental bonding all require various visits to the dentist. Teeth whitening can be done once every year, with touch-ups throughout the year as needed. However, a procedure such as veneers will require several visits to the dentist before and after, to be sure you are happy with your results.
Orthodontic work, such as braces or Invisalign will require dental follow-up every 4-6 weeks. Patients with braces will need to have their braces tightened by a dental professional, and Invisalign patients will need to switch out their liners every 2 to 3 weeks. Orthodontic treatment can last for 6 months to 3 years.
There are many other situations where a patient may need to see their dentist more than the average 2x per year, and each one comes down to your unique dental goals. If you have something that you want to change or improve about your smile, be aware that it will require more frequent visits to the dentist.
Most health insurance plans in Canada cover basic dental procedures such as bi-annual cleanings and x-rays. However, if you are looking to increase your visits to the dentist, you should consider your benefits plan to determine what will be covered.
In some cases, depending on your plan, you may decide to visit the dentist more or less frequently during the year. For example, the average health benefits plan covers 2 general cleanings and check-ins with your dentist per year.
However, some plans only cover cleanings every year or every 9 months. If this is the case for you, let your dentist know and determine whether or not bi-annual visits will still be necessary in your case. Most dentists will accommodate your needs depending on the plan you have and they may schedule your appointments every 9 months rather than every 6 months in order to help you save.
The cost of the procedures you need can impact the frequency at which you can go to the dentist, so it is important to check with your dentist to determine a treatment plan that works for you and your budget.
If you are thinking about finding a new dentist, our talented team would be happy to serve you at Glen Dental Centre.
Located in Coquitlam BC, we offer multiple dental services and our caring team will be transparent about the amount of follow-up appointments you will need.
We know that visiting the dentist takes time out of your day. With our dentists, you will always know what to expect, allowing you to be well prepared. Book with us today!