American Dental Association’s New Position on Dental Visits

A few months ago the ADA (American Dental Association) released a press release regarding the frequency that patients should be seeing a dentist. This is located over at I meant to comment on this earlier, but didn’t get a chance.

In a previous blog post earlier this year, located over at mentioned an article by retired dentist Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH. I also provide a quote from the article where he says that semiannual cleanings are unnecessary in some patients.

In the risks of keeping wisdom teeth page, when updated in 2011, I added a section discussing dental examination intervals. This was because I had reviewed National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (note NICE was renamed in early 2013), policy over at which states

“The actual interval should be a clinical decision by the dentist based on the patient’s needs.”

Now the new information provided by the ADA states

“…the frequency of their regular dental visits should be tailored by their dentists to accommodate for their current oral health status and health history.”

The press release by the ADA mentions a study at the University of Michigan where

“…researchers speculate that high-risk patients would likely benefit from more frequent dental visits, while low-risk patients may see the same benefits from only one cleaning per year.”

It is nice to see the ADA adjust their position based on studies and research that has emerged. Although it is a bit surprising to me that it took them until the middle of 2013 to do so.

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