Let The Dentist Help The Patient Decide, the ADA Suggests

In a recent press release, the American Dental Association changed its stance on dental visits. This change was based on a significant study in the Journal of Dental Research. The study revealed that individual risk factors are more important in determining how often cleanings are needed. In other words, some patients may need only one per year, while others may need three or more over the same time period.

Factors for higher risk include: diabetes, smoking and the genetic variation known as interleukin-1.

According to the ADA, only a dentist can determine a patient’s risk of periodontal disease. Therefore, patients should seek the dentist’s recommendations, based on an individualized assessment, for better oral health. This makes it imperative that patients work closely with the dentist to determine how risk factors may affect them now and in the future. This personalized approach should improve preventive care outcomes.

by Stephen Petinge, DMD

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