Study Suggests One Annual Dental Cleaning May Suffice

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Many of us have grown up thinking we need to go to the dentist twice a year, but a new study has suggested that one annual trip may be sufficient for good oral health.

The man behind the study, professor William Giannobile, of the University of Michigan’s biomedical and dentistry professor said that dentists have been recommending twice-yearly dental visits for more than 50 years, yet there is little scientific evidence to support this advice.

During the study, Professor Giannobile and his team of researchers analysed data from more than 5,000 adults who attended regular dental appointments for 16 years and had no history of gum disease; all the participants had one or two cleaning sessions per year.

The findings of the study indicated that one cleaning per year may be sufficient in cases where patients have no risk factors for gum disease and have good general and oral health; however, in cases where patients have risk factors for gum disease, two cleaning treatments per year were recommended.

Researchers analysed the link between the frequency of dental cleaning sessions and tooth loss among study participants, taking three key risk factors for gum disease into account, which included smoking, diabetics and family history of gum disease.

Researchers found that twice-yearly cleaning sessions were highly beneficial for patients with one or two risk factors, while those with three risk factors should consider more frequent cleaning treatments. One cleaning treatment per year appeared to be sufficient for patients with good oral health who did not have any risk factors.

The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Dental Research.

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