Why you need to Visit Dentist More Often

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

Yikes you say.  See the dental team more than the 2 times per year that my dental insurance tells me to.  No way.  You’re gonna have to have a good reason to get me into your office more times than they say they will consider paying for.

First of all, if you think the dental insurance companies are on your side, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I need to unload cheap.   They are out to provide coverage, if you call it that, for the bare minimum.  One size fits all.  Take it or leave it.

Here is a list of reasons that patients might either be told or decide on their own that they need to come for a dental hygiene appointment three or four times per year:

Periodontal patients.  Diabetic patients. Heart patients.  Patients with cerebral vascular disease (stroke, TIA).  Patients with limited use of hands, i.e. arthritis, geriatric, physically challenged, etc.  Pregnant patients.  Immunosuppressed patients.  Orthodontic patients.  Patients with dental prosthetic reconstructions.  Smokers. Patients who chew tobacco.  Patients on Dilantin who develop excess gum tissue.  Patients with medication induced dry mouth (xerostomia).  Patients on chemotherapy or radiation treatments.  Patients who easily develop lots of cavities. 

Bulimic patients.  Patients with bad breath.  Kids who do not want to brush and have tons of plaque.  Patients who admit to not flossing.  Patients with a denture or partial denture due to prior tooth loss.  Patients under significant stress of any kind.  Patients who have bleached their teeth.

If your dentist or hygienist has examined and/or treated you and suggests that it is in your best interest to be seen multiple times per year for hygiene appointments, it is probably because you fit into one of the categories previously mentioned.  Your insurance company doesn’t care that you have one of these labels on you.  All they see is a person who is going to need money spent on them for valid health reasons.  Even though the reasons are there, the insurance policies will only allow your “two cleanings per year.”

I really do not know the origin of this practice, but I’m sure it was some bean counting pencil pusher who really didn’t care about anyone’s oral health.  In an office that is truly in tune with the oral health needs of its patients, the majority probably come back to the office more than twice a year.

If your dentist suggests this extra treatment, consider it good advice.

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