Accelerated Dental Care


In my office, for those who need it, we promote dental cleanings more often than every 6 months. Having a regular dental visit every 6 months is considered by many “regular dental care.” The fact of the matter is that I have some patients I don’t schedule for re-care visits but once a year. For them, this is adequate. Others are at such high risk for decay or progressing gum disease that every three months is just barely enough. Does dental insurance pay for these more frequent dental cleanings? No, they would rather pay for more fillings, etc. There are two times when people are most at risk for dental disease: When they are children and when they are seniors. These two groups either forget to brush or sometimes can’t brush. Children seem to get their hands on carbohydrates (sugars) more often and seniors suffer from the consequences of dryer mouths which make them highly susceptible to tooth decay. Seniors also lose the ability to brush due to physical ailments or they simply don’t remember anything including dental hygiene. One of the hardest things for a senior to hear in my office is that all of their crowns have decay around them and they need to be replaced or they need dentures. A retired senior usually has no dental insurance and a fixed budget based on Medicare, or the lucky ones have a retirement plan. I’ve written before about the accelerated activity of dental plaque in a dry mouth. The cause for less saliva is due to disease or the common side effects of blood pressure, diabetes, or most other medications that seniors take. That is why I have, for some time, been motivating my senior dental patients to come in more frequently and see my wonderful hygienist, Joni, for a good cleaning. “Accelerated dental care” is worth it.