Good question because there is no simple answer. That’s not what you thought the answer would be. However, I read a recent article suggesting that one cleaning per year may be enough for a certain portion of our population. And yet the article suggested that for those with one or more of the three risk factors – smoking, diabetes and genetics- 2 dental cleanings would be necessary. And for the segment of our population with 2 or more of the 3 risk factors, more than two times a year may be needed. So where do you fit in, are you zero or three for risk factors?
What the study failed to address is a genetic factor that would necessitate 3 or more visits per year? We know there are those who are at greater risk, but we don’t have a scalable method to determine those with increased risk and those who are not at risk. And to compound the issue, the insurance companies won’t allow dentist to diagnose for the difference. Each patient presents a unique set of characteristics, but is treated by insurance companies in a cookie cutter approach. As a result both patients and doctors are left to navigate what would otherwise be personalized medicine.
As a health care provider I tried to distance myself from what the insurance industry dictates and stay true to my professional teachings. However, we as a society need to change how we look at our global health care system. One of the aspects the study failed to address is that Concordia Insurance has found that those patients who seek routine oral care on a regular basis reduce their overall health costs and improve their global health. So by correlative analysis, it would make sense to see your dentist at least twice a year.
If we can help you determine a more personalized treatment please give us a call, because what your insurance will pay is at the bottom of consideration in our practice.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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