Figuring Out The Frequency Of Dental Visits

For years your dentists have been scheduling your cleanings every six months–twice yearly–but is that enough? Is it too much? How do you determine how often you should see the dentist? Visiting the dentist twice yearly is a happy medium. It may be too much for some, yet not enough for others, particularly those who suffer from periodontal disease. Today, your Rochester MN general dentists discuss the frequency of dental visits.

Risk Profiles

Advances in dentistry and medical research have made it possible to determine a person’s risk factor for various diseases. A major development is the genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes that determine a person’s risk for breast cancer.  Regarding dentistry, it is suggested that the interleukin-1 gene plays a role in the development of periodontal disease in Caucasians.

High Risk

Regarding periodontal disease, high risk factors include smoking, diabetes, and having certain variations of the interleukin-1gene. A recent study analyzed the insurance claims of 5,117 adults with varying risks for periodontal disease, to assess whether tooth loss was associated with the amount of times they visited the dentist each year. The results showed that 22 percent of high risk patients who visited the dentist once a year had teeth extracted, compared with only 17 percent of high risk patients who visited the dentist twice yearly. For those with low risk no significant difference was determined.


Nothing need change for patients exhibiting low risk for periodontal disease. However, for those patients with multiple risk factors, two visits a year may not prove enough to reduce tooth loss. That’s why it has been suggested that they visit their dentist every three months instead of every six.


Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offer expert services including Invisalign, Six Month Smiles, root canals, pediatric dentistry, and teeth whitening in Rochester MN. To schedule a consultation, please call (507) 218-8936. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer welcome and serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities.