ADA: Dentists determine frequency of teeth cleanings

The ADA is encouraging dentists to work with their patients to determine how often they need teeth cleanings, following a study published in the Journal of Dental Research (June 10, 2013).

The study concluded that individual risk factors help to dictate the frequency of cleanings needed per year to help prevent periodontal disease. Based on data analysis, researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry speculated that high-risk patients would likely benefit from more frequent dental visits, while low-risk patients may see the same benefits from only one cleaning per year. They explored the link between long-term tooth loss and frequency of preventive dental visits in adults with and without three risk factors for periodontal disease: smoking, diabetes and interleukin-1 genetic variations.

Dentists and patients should work closely to identify any potential risk factors that would determine the need for and frequency of follow-up visits to enhance the outcomes of preventive care, the ADA said. It recommends regular dental visits at intervals determined by a dentist.

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