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Why is it important to keep my 6 month checkup?

Dr. Holman answers why it is so important to keep your 6 month checkup:

Patient’s should see their 6 month checkup as more than just a quick trip to have their teeth cleaned.  There are many parts to a recall appointment.  The first part of the exam is reviewing radiographs, current or past, to check for pathologies such as cavities and periodontal disease.  As part of the appointment, every adult patient will have an oral cancer screening.  This is a quick check to look for signs and risk factors for oral cancer.  While oral cancers are not that common, they have a high mortality rate so this screening is very important.


Another part of the physical exam is a tooth by tooth check for cavities, chips, fracture lines, and any other weakening of the teeth.  Most small cavities never have any symptoms so the patient would not know they were there until it becomes a bigger problem.  Catching problems early makes them much easier and cheaper to fix.


The last but definitely not least part is a periodontal exam.  This is typically done one to two times a year depending on the condition of the periodontal tissues.  Periodontal problems can range from inflammation in the gums (gingivitis) to different levels of bone loss (periodontal disease) and these issues need to be treated accordingly.  Once again this is very important to catch early to avoid gum infections and tooth loss.


So next time you have a 6 month checkup scheduled, remember it’s more than just a cleaning.  It’s an opportunity to prevent future problems and save you money in the long run.

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