This is one of the most common questions we receive. Every person is different, and obviously we have to come up with a plan suited to your specific needs. How much calculus you build up, your history of cavities, whether you smoke or have a history of cancer, and whether you grind your teeth all factor in to the decision. But there are some generalisations we can make about care.
In general, we like to see children that are still growing every six months. Adults can be seen every three, four, six or twelve months depending on their needs. An average is probably six months. Some adults need cleanings every three months, but only really need a checkup with the dentist every second visit. Again every one is different. A minimum would be once a year. Ask your dentist and hygienist to develop a regular care plan that is right for you. And if it has been more than a year, it’s time!
I have dentures, all my teeth are gone
Patients who are "edentulous" (they have no remaining teeth) can often be seen only once a year for evaluation of their dentures, cancer screening, etc. But again, this is individualised.
Do I require x-rays at every checkup?
While every patient is different, few patients require radiographs ("xrays") at every checkup and cleaning. In general we take a panoramic radiograph once every five years, bite-wing radiographs (to see between the teeth for bone height and cavities) every 1-2 years, and anterior periapical radiographs (to see the roots of the front teeth) every 1-2 years.