Everyone discusses the importance of visiting a Red Deer dentist on a regular basis for a checkup and cleaning, but many people wonder about this practice, asking questions such as:
- What does “regular” really mean? How often should you get a dental checkup, and does this frequency differ for each individual, and if so, why is this?
- What happens during a checkup? What does the dentist look for?
- Does insurance cover these visits?
- What are the advantages and drawbacks (if any) of getting a dental checkup regularly?
All of these questions are valid, and today, we want to answer all of them so that you know everything you need to know about visiting a dentist near you for a dental hygiene appointment.
Table of Contents
How Often Should You Get a Dental Checkup?
For the average individual, a visit to the dentist once every six months is enough to keep your mouth in excellent shape. However, this recommendation can vary depending on your specific circumstances, and your dentist will usually tell you how often they think you should visit them. A visit once a year may suffice for those who have a good oral hygiene routine and are at low risk of developing oral health issues.
For individuals with underlying medical problems or previous instances of oral health issues, your dentist may recommend that you visit them more often, perhaps every 3 or 4 months, to help you maintain a preventative dental health care regimen.
Some medical conditions that could cause you to require more frequent visits to your dentist include:
- Existing gum disease (also referred to as periodontal disease)
Additionally, any individual with a compromised immune system as a result of chronic illness or who is more susceptible to developing cavities or gum disease may be advised to visit their dentist quarterly instead of bi-annually or annually.
What Happens During a Dental Checkup?
During a dental checkup, your dentist will examine your mouth using a special dental mirror to look for signs of tartar and plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay or cavities. They may also take x-rays to identify any areas of concern that cannot be seen with the naked eye and carefully inspect your gums to identify how deep the gum pockets are around the teeth. Additionally, your dentist will inspect your throat, face, neck, and gums for signs of oral cancer.
If your dentist identifies any areas of concern, they will discuss these with you and work with you to create a personalized health care plan to address these issues. Typically, issues such as minor cavities and gum disease can be addressed during the checkup itself, but if you need major work such as dental extractions, root canal therapy, or tooth replacement, you will have to schedule a follow-up visit.
Your dental checkup will also involve a dental hygienist thoroughly cleaning your teeth using special tools known as scalers. They will also provide you with a fluoride treatment and polish your teeth so that you leave with a stunning smile.
How Much Do Dental Visits Cost?
The cost of dental procedures varies based on your needs and the dental office you choose to attend. The best way to find out how much you will end up spending on your dental care is to get an estimate from your dentist before proceeding with the procedure. You can also check to see if your dental insurance will cover the visit. Often, dental insurance companies will cover at least a portion, if not all, of a yearly dental checkup.
What Are the Benefits of Attending Regular Dental Checkups?
While it may seem like a pain to have to spend your time and money on dental checkups, the benefits of going to the dentist at least once a year, if not every six months, far exceed the disadvantages. With most dental procedures excluded from provincial healthcare coverage, investing in preventing tooth decay and other oral issues from developing is a lot more economical in the long run than having to pay for extensive oral health treatment down the line because it went untreated and undetected due to missed dental checkups. Additionally, looking after your teeth improves your overall quality of life by ensuring that you can enjoy all the foods you love, enunciate clearly, and smile with confidence, all without any pain or discomfort.
Interested in Dental Checkups and Cleanings?
If it has been more than six months since the last time you saw a dentist for a dental checkup, then now is the time to call your dental office and schedule an appointment. Did you know that a recent study shows a major increase in tooth decay over the last four decades due to missed dental checkups? Don’t become another statistic; schedule a dental checkup and cleaning for you and your entire family today!