How Long Can You Go Without Seeing A Dentist?

posted in: Dental Tips | 0

The American Dental Association and pretty much any dentist in the country will tell you that you should schedule two visits to a dental office twice per year. These appointments should be spaced out six month apart. At the these appointments, you or your family member will receive check-ups, cleanings, and any early warning signs of dental issues can be addressed. But why six months? And what happens when you don’t visit a dentist for longer than that? In this article, we will discuss why the six month rule exists, and provide some advice if it has been more than six months since your last visit. If you live in Chicago and are looking for a family dentist for yourself or your relatives, we have 11 offices in the area that can help you get the dental treatments that you need.

Why Do Dentists Recommend Two Yearly Visits

With all types of health, it is important to consider proactive preventative care instead of responsive care. While it is sometimes impossible to avoid an injury or need to see a doctor because of symptoms, many issues can be prevented if we take care of ourselves in advance. In every medical field, it is recommended that we engage in routine check-ups including dental exams, physicals, and other routine medical visits. For our teeth and gums, the reason we recommend two dental visits per year is because that means we are only giving plaque and bacteria six months at a time to go unchecked. Dental issues progress over time. Moreover, our teeth do not have nerves in the enamel, so it is very common to not notice anything is wrong even after months or years of damage. By the time we feel or notice that something is wrong, significant, and often irreversible damage has been done. By seeing a dentist twice per year, we can find any early signs when it may still be possible to reverse the damage. Even if that isn’t possible, a dental filling is preferable to a root canal or dental crown. The more of a tooth that is infected and damage the more that has to be removed and replaced up until the point that the entire tooth needs removal.

Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?

Dental visits aren’t just exams. While a big part of seeing a dentist is looking for early warning signs of gum disease, dental decay, or other problems, there are also preventative steps taken. Fluoride treatments, plaque removal, and other cleaning treatments are things you likely cannot do yourself at home. There is often dental plaque between our teeth or at the gumline that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. Dentists can scrape this plaque off preventing it from having a long-term effect on the health of our teeth.

What Should I Do If It’s Been Over A Year Since I’ve Seen A Dentist?

Go to the dentist. Sometimes patients can build up this fear of returning to the dentist because it has been so long. But there is a bit of self-defeating element to that. The longer you put of going to the dentist, the likely more damage will happen to your teeth. So avoiding the dentist because you are afraid that they are going to find issues with your teeth and gums is a surefire way to make that true in the future. It is always better to go now when you aren’t necessarily noticing any big issues, then to wait until you have a severe toothache or other dental issue that forces you to go.

Dental Offices in Chicago

If you need to make dental appointments for yourself or your family in the Chicago area, please contact our team. We would be happy to discuss setting up dental appointments in the area!