The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting the dentist at least twice a year — this is also our recommendation. With that said, you may wonder if this is right and/or necessary for you personally. The short answer is yes, however, a study from the Journal of Dental Research suggests that the frequency of dental visits should be tailored to each person’s risk for periodontal disease.

The findings from the study found that if you are low-risk patient, a yearly prophylactic visit may be sufficient in preventing tooth loss. And, if you are a patient with multiple risk factors, two visits a year might not be enough to reduce tooth loss. Some factors that will make someone high risk are smoking and diabetes.

The study was good for emphasizing the need for personalized care; however, it was criticized for not addressing the subjects’ oral hygiene habits, which is another huge factor to tooth loss. Another point to make is that the study did not address tooth decay and the ideal frequency of dental visits in preventing cavities.

The major take-away from the study is that every patient is different and thus treatment and treatment frequency will be different. Talk to the dentist on your next visit about the best preventative regimen for you and your family.