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I missed my dentist appointment today
Old 03-27-2014, 07:20 PM   #1
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I missed my dentist appointment today

I somehow managed to miss my semi-annual dental cleaning. I had the wrong time written down on my calendar so I showed up a half hour late and they couldn't get me in.

Going every 6 months feels more like going every 3 months but as they say, time flies. I'm not entirely sure why I go every 6 months... maybe because check-ups/cleanings are "free" with my group insurance and since I pay the premiums I may as well get the most out of it. Maybe it's just because that's what dentists say we should all do.

But am I getting the oil changed every 3,000 miles when in reality I'm good for 7,500?? Every time I go, it's the same conclusion... "Nice job, your teeth look great, looks like you must floss every day, and let's keep a watch on number 12." (or some numbered tooth with a discoloration on it that they've been keeping an eye on for the last 18 years.)

It's not exactly convenient for me to go semi-annually, given that I have to schedule around w*rk and the dentist's office is about 30 minutes one way but I always make it happen (until now). This slip-up makes me think maybe an annual cleaning could be just fine. On the other hand, maybe my results are good because of these frequent check-ups.

How often do you go for check-ups? Do you just get cleanings based on your insurance coverage?


Here's a quick look at my teeth (put on your sunglasses)...
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:32 PM   #2
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I had my teeth cleaned just a week or two ago. For the first time in my entire 65 years I was late! In my case, I was 10 minutes late but called from the car on my way (first time I have used my cell phone in the car! I was at a stoplight, but still don't recommend it). There was no problem but I was sure they would cancel me, like what happened in your case. They did not.

I usually get my teeth cleaned every six months. I don't have dental insurance, but he knows that and gives me a break on the price (and also gives me the little goodie bag with toothbrush, several small tubes of toothpaste, several containers of dental floss, and so on).

Sounds to me like you need to find a dentist that is closer so that getting your teeth cleaned is not such a big deal.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:00 PM   #3
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I go every 6 months, per dentists recommendation. No insurance. DW has issues (painful cleanings) she goes every 4 months per dentists recommendation. No insurance.

Here's a link to ADA on recommended visits:

June 10, 2013
American Dental Association Statement on Regular Dental Visits
Contact Information:

Telephone: 312-440-2806
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)
CHICAGO, June 10, 2013 To maintain optimal oral health, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends regular dental visits, at intervals determined by a dentist. In light of a new study published in the Journal of Dental Research titled "Patient Stratification for Preventive Care in Dentistry," the ADA wants to remind consumers that the frequency of their regular dental visits should be tailored by their dentists to accommodate for their current oral health status and health history.


https://www.ada.org/8700.aspx

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Old 03-27-2014, 08:13 PM   #4
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I have no dental insurance either and I see the Dentist once a year and have my teeth cleaned every 6 months. The give a discount for paying at the time of service.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:50 PM   #5
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There was a study done sometime in the last 5 or 6 years that concluded, unless you have personal extenuating circumstances, there is no additional health benefit to having your teeth cleaned twice per year vs just once.

I went twice a yr for several yrs after having gone just once per yr for 20-some yrs. I noticed that cleaning my teeth took the same amount of time whether I had them cleaned twice per yr or only once. I have since dropped back to once per yr. And the results are the same as they've always been. Fantastic teeth. A few dentists have told me: "If everybody had teeth like yours I couldn't earn a living"
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
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I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning. Regular exam and cleaning. I go every 4 months. No dental insurance, but 4 months is the right time, otherwise if I wait until 6, there's a big difference.

But why did I set the appointment up for so early 8:45 am?

Time to go to bed and get some sleep.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:30 PM   #7
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Too old to worry.
Only reason... pain.

BTW... Tartar is easy as a DIY project.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:54 PM   #8
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I go every 6 months for a cleaning and an exam. I get X-rays once a year and full bitewing X-rays far less often (supposed to be once every 5 years but I had gone 10 years between them). The full bitewing X-rays I had in 2012 I can bring with me to my new dentist so he won't have to take new ones for a few more years.

My dentist for the last 25 years retired last September so I will be seeing a new one in a few weeks. Luckily, his office is across the street from my former one. It is a 5-minute drive from where I live although I used to live a 5-minute WALK from there before I moved to where I am now.

I have kept the same visiting pattern when I was working and had insurance coverage versus the last 5 years when I ahd no coverage. However, just before I lost my coverage at the end of 2008, I had some costly dental work done. This has had positive long-term benefits because my dental bills have been far lower in the last 5 years. Will this trend continue when I make my first visit to this new dentist? I hope so!
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
There was a study done sometime in the last 5 or 6 years that concluded, unless you have personal extenuating circumstances, there is no additional health benefit to having your teeth cleaned twice per year vs just once.

I went twice a yr for several yrs after having gone just once per yr for 20-some yrs. I noticed that cleaning my teeth took the same amount of time whether I had them cleaned twice per yr or only once. I have since dropped back to once per yr. And the results are the same as they've always been. Fantastic teeth. A few dentists have told me: "If everybody had teeth like yours I couldn't earn a living"


One of the things that can happen is a dental group that has a lot of different sites.... the lady who cleaned my teeth at our old dentist said she worked there and did not like it... she had 30 minutes to clean and polish, no matter how bad the teeth were... IOW, she got as much as she could in the allocated time... if your teeth needed more, too bad....

Not all places have your health in mind.....
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:30 AM   #10
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I just went to my regular dentist this morning (in the Philippines). She is quite skilled and has a good reputation, she also organizes the technical talks in this area for the local dentist group. She charges me about $18 for a regular cleaning, slightly less than new clients get charged. I figure at that price, I might as well get it done every 6 months. Also, here (and in every developing country where I have visited the dentist), it is the dentist who does the cleaning, not an assistant.

I am not an expert, but my understanding is that mouth chemistry varies a lot among different people and so that might determine how often you need a cleaning?
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:52 AM   #11
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Every six months, it is covered by insurance. Still, once in a while they do come across something that will need attention soon. I'm not a big fan of putting off dental maintenance, knowing some people who did with significant repercussions.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:00 AM   #12
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I have mine cleaned every 6 months. My insurance has pretty poor dental coverage, but does cover part of one cleaning per year.

I'm curious, when they told you they couldn't fit you in after being 30 minutes late, did they want to reschedule you for a few weeks or wait 6 months?
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:08 AM   #13
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I have mine cleaned every 6 months. My insurance has pretty poor dental coverage, but does cover part of one cleaning per year.

I'm curious, when they told you they couldn't fit you in after being 30 minutes late, did they want to reschedule you for a few weeks or wait 6 months?
Honestly, I think the lady at reception was in a really lousy mood. I was actually only 25 minutes late, my cleanings take under 30 minutes and she said their next appointment was at 4pm. I suppose I could have been more pushy about the issue but I figured it was my fault... and I didn't really feel like having someone poke at me anyway.

She said we could try for weeks but the late afternoon time slot I like is apparently hard to come by so I said to just push it out another 6 months.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
There was a study done sometime in the last 5 or 6 years that concluded, unless you have personal extenuating circumstances, there is no additional health benefit to having your teeth cleaned twice per year vs just once.

I went twice a yr for several yrs after having gone just once per yr for 20-some yrs. I noticed that cleaning my teeth took the same amount of time whether I had them cleaned twice per yr or only once. I have since dropped back to once per yr. And the results are the same as they've always been. Fantastic teeth. A few dentists have told me: "If everybody had teeth like yours I couldn't earn a living"
Have you got a source for that study please?
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:00 AM   #15
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Have you got a source for that study please?
There was a recent study that I heard reported on the radio but I can't find it, however I recall that it said that routine visits should be determined on a patient's needs and history and not on some fixed schedule. I looked up the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines (NICE) and they also state that for adults it should be determined on a case by case basis and it can be up to 24 months between visits.

Since retiring neither myself or DW have never needed any treatment and we go in for a check up and cleaning every 7 or 8 months depending on our travel schedule. We have no push-back from our dentist on this more relaxed schedule. This is a dentist we really like and he looks to be about our age, so we worry about when he will retire.


Dental recall Guidance CG19
Quote:
  • The longest interval between oral health reviews for patients aged 18 years and older should be 24 months.

    Recall intervals for patients who have repeatedly demonstrated that they can maintain oral health and who are not considered to be at risk of or from oral disease may be extended over time up to an interval of 24 months. Intervals of longer than 24 months are undesirable because they could diminish the professional relationship between dentist and patient, and people's lifestyles may change.
1.1.6

For practical reasons, the patient should be assigned a recall interval of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months if he or she is younger than 18 years old, or 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 or 24 months if he or she is aged 18 years or older.



1.1.7

The dentist should discuss the recommended recall interval with the patient and record this interval, and the patient's agreement or disagreement with it, in the current record-keeping system.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:11 AM   #16
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DW and I went every 6 months when working and insured, now we go once a year. I've seen no change in our dental health in the nine years since we switched to annual check ups/cleanings.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:59 AM   #17
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I go every 6 months, I have bruxism, so I can create a lot of damage during that time. Take a nap without my appliance, best case is an sore jaw, worst a broken tooth or crown.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:42 AM   #18
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Since my dental insurance is running out soon, I scheduled a cleaning just 4 months after the last one. They were very curious about why I was scheduling so soon after the last checkup, even after I told them my insurance was running out soon. Maybe they thought I was developing an addiction to dental cleanings.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:53 PM   #19
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Since my dental insurance is running out soon, I scheduled a cleaning just 4 months after the last one. They were very curious about why I was scheduling so soon after the last checkup, even after I told them my insurance was running out soon. Maybe they thought I was developing an addiction to dental cleanings.
Depending on your ins. if it is less than 6 months (even one day), the ins. will not cover the cleaning.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:22 PM   #20
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Depending on your ins. if it is less than 6 months (even one day), the ins. will not cover the cleaning.
Back when I had dental insurance coverage, I was always sure to schedule my visits at least 6 months apart. I do recall one time when it was a day or two less than 6 months so the dentist moved the date ahead a few days to coincide with a return visit to do a filling.
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