How Often Do I Need to Visit a Dentist?

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Published: 11th August 2010
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The question as to how often one needs to visit a dentist (for a general check up) is a commonly asked one in forums where health concerns are addressed. It is a question that can be seen as arising from a number of factors. One of those factors is perhaps a subconscious fear many of us have, of the dentist. After all, isn't a visit to the dentist likely to see the doctor discover one or another problem, whose tackling requires one or another painful procedure? For this reason, many of us choose to keep the visits to the dentist at a bare minimum - and then starting looking for reassurance that we are doing just fine.

Going through most health resources, it would seem that the recommended (minimum) frequency with which you should visit a dentist is twice a year. In other words, you do need to see a dentist, for a routine check after (at most) every six months. And in other words yet, if it is more than six months since you last saw a dentist for a dental check up, then you are violating a major medical check up rule, and are at risk of developing major problems undetected.

It is worth mentioning, however, that seeing your dentist for a general check up once every six months is only a bare minimum. It works well if you don't have any major dental issues, and if you are not particularly predisposed to them. But if you have an issue that predisposes you in a special way to dental issues (for instance, if you have a disease like diabetes, then you may be advised to see your dentist more often for general check ups).

A person with a condition like diabetes, for instance, is advised to visit a dentist for a general check up every four months or so. This is because diabetes predisposes one to many dental problems (with higher odds of contracting such problems than someone without diabetes). Furthermore, a person with a condition like diabetes, when faced with certain advanced dental problems, is likely to encounter unique challenges in seeking treatment for them than a person without diabetes. This is especially the case if the person in question delays seeking treatment for the dental problem, to an extent that they have to go for surgery - seeing that performing dental surgery on a diabetic is never quite easy.

If you find it hard summoning the courage to visit your dentist regularly for check-up, there are a number of factors you can use to motivate yourself. One is the fact that although a dental check up may reveal major dental issues requiring unpleasant procedures to deal with, chances are that the dentist is likely to give you time to 'get ready' before getting the procedure done. The dentist can never quite force you into a procedure you are not ready for. In any case, if you opt not to go for a dental check up, the underlying dental issues could only get worse - which translates to even more unpleasant procedures in the future, to address the advanced dental problems.


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