High Risk Patients Should Visit the Dentist More Often

high-risk-patient-at-dentistWe’ve all heard the twice-yearly rule: If you care about your teeth, you should see a dentist twice a year for preventive care. It turns out that it may be better to visit the dentist more depending on your risk level.

Gum Disease

About 65 million adults (almost half) aged 30 and older have a kind of inflammatory gum disease that leads to tooth loss. The Jounral of Dental Research found throughout their study that low-risk patients might only need one preventive treatment each year, however, for those with high-risk teeth and mouths, it is important to visit the dentist more than twice-yearly.

High Risk Patients Visit the Dentist More than Twice a Year

Results show that for those with low-risk, seeing a dentist twice-yearly does not improve your chances of avoiding tooth decay and other teeth problems. Once a year had the same results. Those with high-risk profiles were found to benefit greatly from more than twice-yearly treatment and it was determined that twice-yearly treatments might not be enough for some high-risk profile patients.

There was also a call to the dentistry industry to make dentistry more personal. Not everyone has the same teeth needs and check-ups should be tailored to indviduals based on need.

Research Criticisms

One thing that was criticized about the study though, was the need for a look at the subjects’ oral hygiene. Oral hygiene is a significant factor in tooth loss. This was not accounted for in the study. Still, critics remain advocates of the study because of its potential to show people that they need to take their teeth care personally and that dentists need to treat their patient’s individually when it comes to tooth care. Personalizing the industry based on the individual person seems to be an important aspect that is currently missing, and is something patients would benefit from in the future.

Bottom line: High-risk patients should visit their family dentist more often.

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