Many people are under the assumption that it is necessary to go to the dentist for a check-up at least once every six months. Nevertheless, even with this being commonly known, it has been revealed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) that over half of adults in the UK have not been to the dentist in the previous two-year period. However, is this timeline of seeing your dentist every six months even really the case? As one of the leading dentists in London, we give you our expert opinion on what dentist checkup advice you should really be taking into consideration. When deciding how often to visit the dentist.
The time between check-ups
In reality, how often you will need to visit the dentist will be dependent on various factors such as how at risk you are of future problems with your teeth, as well as how healthy your teeth and gums are generally. This may mean that you need to have check-ups as often as every three months but could be as little as every two years (or if you are under the age of 18, up to one year). As a rule of thumb, the lower the risk of developing further dental problems, the longer the gap you can have between dentist checkups.
If you are unsure as to how often you should be going, the best person you can ask is, of course, your dentist. They can suggest to you as to when you should be making your next appointment, based upon your current oral health.
Why do I need a dental check-up?
Check-ups are vital to ensure that you maintain good oral health and so that any dental problems are quickly dealt with. This is because the problems left to manifest could make them far harder to treat in the future.
What happens at a dental check-up?
You can expect the following at any dentist check-up you have:
- Ask about your overall health as well as any potential problems you have been having with your gums, mouth or teeth since the last check-up you have had
- Asking for and providing guidance on your diet, smoking, teeth-cleaning habits and alcohol use
- Examine your teeth, gums and mouth
- Explains the costs and risks of any dental treatment that you may need to get
- The date for your next check-up
The cost of NHS dental treatment
There are three standard NHS price bands (depending on the type of work that is being carried out) which are only paid for once each course of dental treatment has been carried out.
Nevertheless, there are people who fall into certain categories which means that they can receive free NHS dental treatment. These include the following:
- People who are on qualifying low-income benefits
- Pregnant women
- Those who have had a baby in the last twelve months
- Those who are under the age of 18
- People under the age of 19 and who are in full-time education
Otherwise, the NHS price bands work as follows:
Band 1: This is for treatment such as examination, x-rays, a sale and polish or the application of fluoride varnish, costing £21.60.
Band 2: This refers to work in band 1, plus other work that needs to be carried out such as extractions, or root-canal work, costing £59.20
Band 3: all treatment listed in bands 1 and 2 as well as dental work for dentures, bridges and crowns.