How often do I need a teeth cleaning and dental check-up?
If it has been a while since your last dental checkup and cleaning, consider visiting the Chelsea dental office of Keith Bracy, DDS. We offer a judgment-free zone if you have fallen behind on your regular dental care. Most patients need a dental checkup every 6 months so that problems can be detected and fixed when they are small. Some patients may need more frequent visits if they have a high risk for dental cavities, gum disease or need some additional professional hygiene help. If you are low risk for dental issues or avoid the dentist because you do not have any dental pain, please still know the importance of regular dental checkups. Many dental problems like gum disease and some cavities are totally silent and patients often do not know they have them until it’s too late. You do not want to wait for pain or an infection, before finding a dentist. Furthermore, an oral cancer screen is an essential part of your dental visit here with Dr. Bracy in NYC. He will carefully examine your head, neck and oral cavity for signs of cancer and early precancerous lesions. Even young adults with no history of smoking or tobacco usage can get oral cancer and should be screened for it regularly.
What about x-rays? Will you take then at my first visit at the best dentist in 10011? The frequency of dental x-rays also depends on your risk factors. At your first visit, we will perform a dental check-up and establish a customized schedule of routine dental x-rays based on a risk assessment. If you have any past copies of dental x-rays please bring them to your visit or have them emailed to our West Village dental office. If the x-rays are on paper, they might not be diagnostic, but they can be helpful. Digital images of your teeth are much easier to read and provide more information. If it has been 3-5 years since your last full set of x-rays, Dr. Bracy will likely advise these x-rays. A full mouth series is usually 18 images and includes x-rays of both the crowns of the teeth in your mouth and also the roots of your teeth. This series of x-rays helps Dr. Bracy detect cavities, issues with existing dental restorations, pathology like cysts in the roots of your teeth and much more. We can always provide you with a copy of your full mouth series of x-rays if you move or change dentists, so you do not have to repeat them. For most patients, the full mouth series is done every 3-5 years based on risk and dental history. A panoramic x-ray can also substitute for the full mouth series. Going forward, Keith Bracy, DDS will establish if the frequency of bitewing and check-up x-rays. High-risk patients usually need them every 6 months and very low-risk patients every 18-24 months. Moderate risk patients may fall somewhere in between these intervals such as every year. We base your x-ray frequency on your risk and not what your insurance dictates.
Our hygienist, Shirley Tam, RDH will select a customized recall schedule for your dental cleanings as well. Most patients benefit from dental cleanings every 6 months, whereas patients with gum disease may need cleanings every 3-4 months. The importance of professional dental cleanings, also called “prophylaxis” cannot be stressed enough. It is important to maintain your existing dental work and dental cleanings ensure healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. Every day, a new link between oral health and systemic health is strengthened! Maintaining a healthy, clean mouth goes hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle.
Call our West Village dental office at 212-390-8399 and establish your dental home for dental cleanings and check-ups!
I'm sure we all had daunting dental appointment memories from the past, but I never had it again since I started visiting Dr. Bracy two years ago.
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