How Often to Schedule a General Dentistry Appointment

General Dentist Winston-Salem, NC

General dentistry aims to keep your teeth and gums healthy by educating you about proper oral hygiene and performing preventative treatments that protect against issues like gum disease and tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends going to the dentist at least two times per year. These visits are used to evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums and to perform any necessary treatments.

Importance of biannual general dentistry appointments

Here is why general dentistry recommends coming in for a check-up at least twice a year.

1. It enables the dentist to monitor the patient’s gums and teeth

Visiting a dentist twice a year increases the odds of any developing issues being detected early. Dentists perform routine check-ups during these visits, carefully examining the patient’s teeth, gums, and the areas around their mouth. Many dentists also screen for oral cancer during these check-ups.

Diagnostic tests like X-rays are done periodically to examine the health of teeth roots and other structures below the gum line. The result of a patient’s check-up dictates what type of preventative or corrective treatments are recommended.

2. Teeth cleaning is performed

Teeth cleaning treatments are the foundation of general dentistry. The procedure protects patients from tooth decay and gum disease. A scaler is used to remove tartar and plaque deposits from teeth surfaces.

Tartar is the calcified version of plaque (the sticky film that builds up on teeth) that brushing cannot remove. It builds up on teeth when plaque is left on them for more than 24 hours.

The American Dental Association recommends getting teeth cleaning treatments twice a year to keep the teeth and gums healthy. People with gum disease might have to get them more frequently to help stop the infection.

3. Restorative procedures can be recommended

Depending on what the dentist notices during a patient’s check-up, restorative treatments like dental fillings or the placement of crowns might be recommended. These treatments are often performed during the same visit, so the detected issue can be addressed immediately.

The more often a person goes to a dentist, the more likely any dental issues that they have will be noticed and treated early. That leads to lower dental bills; it is typically cheaper to treat dental problems in their infancy.

4. Cosmetic treatments can be done

Routine dental appointments are also ideal times to talk to a dentist about cosmetic treatments. General dentists can perform cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening, composite bonding, and the placement of restorations. At times, dentists might recommend cosmetic treatments based on the results of a patient’s check-up.

Frequently asked questions about general dentistry appointments

Let us go over answers to some commonly asked questions  about routine dental checkups:

1. Do routine dental appointments prevent cavities?

Routine dental appointments significantly reduce your risk of developing cavities. Teeth cleanings are typically performed during these visits, which involve removing plaque and tartar from teeth surfaces. Tartar cannot be eliminated by brushing, so getting regular teeth cleanings goes a long way in safeguarding your teeth against cavities and gum disease.

2. What should I expect at my next routine dental appointment?

Routine dental appointments typically include the dentist examining the patient’s gums and teeth in search of any abnormalities. X-rays are taken once every couple of years to keep track of changes in the patient’s mouth that might not be noticeable to the naked eye. The appointment also includes the dentist talking to the patient about any cosmetic or restorative treatments they might need.

3. Are teeth cleanings painful?

Teeth cleanings are typically painless procedures, so local anesthetics are not needed. The process involves using a scaler to remove tartar and plaque from teeth surfaces. The scaler gently scrapes tartar off teeth, protecting them against gum disease and tooth decay. The process is typically completed within an hour, and it often ends with the dentist polishing the patient’s teeth.

In some cases, fluoride treatments are performed right after teeth cleanings. This typically involves the patient using a mouth rinse or biting down on a mouth tray filled with fluoride. It shields teeth from decay for up to six months. 

Visit a dentist twice a year

Biannual dental appointments go a long way when it comes to preventing serious dental problems that may require invasive, expensive treatments. When was the last time that you went for a routine dental check-up? Call or stop by our Winston-Salem clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call Dental Center of the Carolinas at (336) 542-2184 for an appointment in our Winston-Salem office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentist in Winston-Salem, NC.

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