Routine Cleanings (Preventive Maintenance Visits)
Routine dental "cleaning" appointments (at least every 6 months) are the only way to insure good gum health and avoid cavities. In our practice we refer to these visits as "preventive maintenance" instead of "cleanings" because we know that many very important tasks go on at these appointments, along with cleaning the teeth, there are tasks that will help you prevent numerous other problems. At your 6 month visit we will do an oral cancer screening, verify that no changes are taking place in the bone around your teeth, check to see that every existing filling in your mouth is in good shape, look for any new cavities, carefully scrutinize any X-rays that are taken and check for any changes in your bite, tooth position, or tooth wear. We have nine tiny, intra-oral cameras in our office that we use at every visit to check for any irregularities before they have time to become problematic.
Thirty years ago, one went to the dentist for a "check-up". The primary goal was to identify cavities and problems related to the teeth. The gum health was often over-looked. Now it is considered the standard of care to see patients for a far more comprehensive visit.
In most modern dental practices today, the routine of visits - every 6 month- are as much about the gums as they are about the teeth. 80% of adults over 30 years old have some stage of active gum disease. (Did you know that there is a strong link between gum disease and heart disease?) Professional removal of the plaque, tarter and bacteria that causes gum disease is the only way to keep gum disease at bay. It is commonly accepted, that if you go to the dentist for a thorough cleaning twice a year, you will be able to eliminate the slow, but irreversible changes from gum disease.
There are people who need to visit more frequently than every 6 months. Some people who build up tarter very quickly must go for professional cleanings every 3-4 months. At your initial visit with us, we can assess your unique needs and we will suggest the routine that's right for you.In any case, be consistent about routine "preventive maintenance" appointments and your teeth will be consistent for you!