How many times should you be coming for maintenance visits?
You have completed your smile in a day treatment with your Evo Team, and you could not be happier! You have the smile you have wanted for so long back and you can finally start living your life again. But your Evo Journey does not end after your treatment! One of the most important steps in your aftercare treatment are you maintenance visits – yes, whilst we of course use these to have a catch up about how you have been getting on and seeing all of your pictures of the wonderful things you have been getting up to, this is also to make sure you have been following the advice we gave you for maintaining your lovely new smile.
Here at EvoDental, we have created a system whereby we categorise each individual patient on the required maintenance visits they will need. A risk assessment involves the use of clinical judgement and knowledge of the patient to assess modifying factors identified in the patient’s histories and behaviours that affect the development of swelling and bleeding of the soft tissues, peri-implant disease and other oral diseases.
There are many differences between patients in their susceptibility to disease, the likelihood of early disease progressing and the speed of disease progression, if it occurs. Therefore, to provide care that meets the current oral health needs of each patient, it is important to consider patient-specific information. This will help in assessing each patient’s individual risk of developing both common and less common oral diseases and conditions and in developing a personal care plan that includes appropriate preventive advice and treatment to improve the patient’s oral health and reduce the patient’s risk level.
When we carry out the risk assessment, we look at the following…
Medical conditions: that may affect patients’ immunity to bacteria and plaque in the mouth, such as uncontrolled diabetes.
Medication: certain medication can a have side effect on the oral tissues such as gum overgrowth.
Manual dexterity: if a patient suffers from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, they may struggle with toothbrushing etc.
Smoking status: persons who smoke are more risk of implant failure, bone loss and oral cancers.
Alcohol status: patients with High alcohol consumption more at risk of oral cancers and conditions such as dry mouth.
Food habits: certain eating habits can have an effect on your natural teeth such a frequent intake of sugary foods and drinks.
Previous dental history:
History of gum disease: patients who have previous history of gum disease, wether it be genetic or due to poor oral hygiene patients are at higher risk for problems with Implants if regular visits and oral hygiene habits do not improve.
History of neglect – patients who have previous history of neglecting their Natural teeth these individuals are more at risk of falling into bad habits so frequent maintenance visits for motivation and monitoring can help.
Dental anxiety: patients who are nervous tend to avoid dental appointments so more frequent attendance helps build confidence and raptor with the treating clinician.
What does the risk assessment look like?
Considering the risk levels for each of the main elements mentioned above, an overall risk level for the patient can then be assigned. This is used to determine the interval period of maintenance visits and develop a personal care plan for each patient. A personal care plan is a risk-based long-term plan that is designed to address the patient’s individual oral health improvement and maintenance needs.
If you are High risk – maintenance visits every 4 months advised
If you are Moderate risk – maintenance visits every 8 months advised
If you are Low risk – maintenance visit once every 12 months advised
If you are placed into the high risk category which many patients at first will be, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will stay in that category. It indicates that there is work to be done together to modify the factors to bring your risk levels down, for example if the current oral hygiene routine is poor following our advice and more regular visits will help improve and change for the better.
If you have any questions regarding your maintenance visits, please contact the team, we are happy to go through it all with you!
By Lauren McGovern, Dental Therapist at EvoDental