For most people, a dental check-up per year is adequate. However, for those with high risk or special needs, a dental check-up every six months or at shorter interval may be necessary. People with high risk or special needs include:
- Mentally handicapped individuals
Mentally handicapped individuals may have difficulties in maintaining a basic level of oral hygiene. They are very prone to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Patients who have received radiotherapy in the head and neck region
In the process of radiotherapy, normal oral tissues are affected. The treatment may give rise to a decrease in saliva secretion and inflammation of the oral mucosa, which may lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
The chance of developing gum disease for smokers can be five times higher than that of non-smokers.
- Patients with severe oral diseases
Patients with severe tooth decay, gum disease, oral tumour or cleft palate need to have more frequent oral examinations to maintain their oral health.
- Patients with systemic diseases
The immunity systems of patients with Diabetes Mellitus, Haemophilia or AIDS are compromised, leading to a lowered body resistance to bacterial infections. If their oral hygiene is poor, the dental plaque accumulated on the tooth surfaces will easily give rise to gum disease and the disease will then progress rapidly.
Last revision date: 18 January 2012