The question is often asked about how frequent you should visit the dentist for a regular dental checkup.
It’s a very difficult question to answer definitively because we are all unique and have different oral practices.
Several factors could influence when you should have a dental check, including;
- Health problems which affect teeth
- Medical treatment or medicines which affect teeth
- Existing periodontal disease or gingivitis
If you suffer from an ongoing health condition which may affect the health of the mouth, teeth and gums, then your dentist might recommend more frequent oral examinations.
Having frequent oral checkups can detect problems in the early stages, where they may be easier to treat, and most problems can be handled easily, by your dental expert.
It’s also advisable to increase dental care during pregnancy, especially if you are prone to cavities or gum disease.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Checkups?
As there are a myriad of dental insurance policies, this question is impossible to answer outright.
The fact is, each insurer may have a number of available plans at varying costs.
Within their guidelines will be what treatments they consider to be necessary, and that includes checks on the health of your teeth.
One company might consider that an annual dental examination is necessary, while another might think two checkups per year are important.
Some policies might even consider examinations so important that they could void insurance cover if you fail to have regular checks.
Then there are dental plans which do not provide cover for problems which originated before you took out your cover.
Take this scenario; you have a dentist check your teeth and he recommends trying the LANAP procedure to treat your gums. However, your gum disease has been an ongoing problem which began before you signed up for your dental plan.
In this case your insurance may cover the dental check, but your dental benefit plan may not cover the treatment itself.
In summary, each insurance plan can potentially have its own guidelines, so you need to personally check on the coverage. Although, it should be noted that if a dentist considers work to be essential you may be able to appeal against your insurer’s decision.
Many people don’t have any dental insurance at all, but dentists bills can mount up quickly, so even having limited cover might be a good idea.
What If You Have Perfect Teeth?
There are few people who are lucky enough to have perfect teeth, hence the growth in the cosmetic dental market.
Gum disease, periodontitis, gingivitis, etc. can occur due to many factors other than bad oral hygiene, so even if you take great care you can have problems with your teeth.
However, if you are blessed with perfect teeth and uphold an excellent teeth cleaning regime, you may be able to leave longer between dental examinations.
Some patients with healthy strong teeth will choose to visit a dentist once every 18 months to 2 years.
One final word of caution; during an examination your dentist can diagnose a number of oral conditions. Early signs of oral cancer are usually picked up during a check up with your dentist or hygienist.
Therefore, it’s not just about checking for dental decay or misaligned teeth. A regular dental checkup could lead to early intervention, and prevent an undiagnosed oral condition from getting worse.