Many people who regularly visit their dentist have a check-up schedule that they follow. For example, your dentist might ask you to visit once a year to have your teeth cleaned and checked for problems. While it's important to follow this schedule for optimal dental health, not everyone can get away with annual dental appointments. When you visit the dentist and inquire about your next appointment, it's possible that he or she may ask you to come back in six months or, in some cases, in even less time. Here are some reasons that your dentist may recommend visiting more frequently.
Monitoring Potential Cavities
Sometimes, a dental X-ray will turn up what appears to be a cavity in the very early stages. There are certain dentists who will drill this area out and put in a filling, but there are also others who don't want to act too hastily. If a dentist believes that you might have a very small cavity, he or she may not want to allow it an entire year to potentially grow into a problem. By revisiting the dentist in a short amount of time, you can feel confident that the cavity is in good hands.
Checking Gum Disease
Gum disease is something that many dental patients experience to varying degrees. If your dentist or dental hygienist shows concern over the health of your gums, they may recommend that you come back in just a few months' time, rather than wait 12 months for your next check-up. A timelier appointment means that your dental professionals can assess your gum disease to see if it's getting better or getting worse. If you've taken a careful approach to cleaning your mouth and the gum disease is receding or gone entirely, you can likely return to annual appointments.
Assessing Tooth Wear
Some people grind their teeth severely, and this is frequently evident during dental check-ups. If your dentist is concerned about the degree to which you grind your teeth, he or she will usually give you some solutions that you can attempt to implement to reduce this habit. One option is to wear a custom-fit mouthpiece, for example. Your dentist will also want to check the condition of your teeth at your next appointment, and may not want to wait a full year. Aggressive grinding can lead to damage, and catching this damage promptly — thanks to an appointment in just a few months' time — can be critical.
Contact a clinic, like Brandywine Dental Care, for more help.