Is it necessary to have 2 dental cleanings per year?
If you have a history of cavities or stains on your teeth, it is clear why you need to visit the dentist on a regularly. But for those who seldom have cavities or don’t accumulate a lot stain, you may wonder why we insist on cleanings and exams every six months. Even while there is plenty of studies and vast amounts of data to support six months check-ups, the bottom line is we base our recommendations on early detection and preventative care.
The sooner a cavity is found, the easier it is to treat. This means decreased chance of sensitivity because it is less invasive on your tooth. And it goes without saying that smaller fillings take less time than larger and more challenging fillings. This means you spend less time at the dentist and more time keeping up with your busy schedule.
Many cavities and dental problems don’t exhibit painful signs or symptoms until considerable damage is done. Our goal is to identify problems early and treat them before it causes any discomfort. A dental exam every six months and bitewing x-rays every year are critical in finding developing problems are otherwise unnoticeable. The absence of pain does not mean absence of dental problems.
Tarter (calculus) is a hardened colony of bacteria that forms and adheres to the teeth. Once it has solidified on the teeth, brushing and flossing isn’t enough to remove the hard deposits. Dental hygienists have specialized instruments to remove the calculus and allow your teeth and gums to return to health. We don’t typically recommend our patients use hard or sharp ‘tools’ at home to remove the tarter in an effort to avoid cleaning appointments. It is very difficult to remove all of the calculus and you will likely leave some underneath the gums. If left without treating, this can lead to more serious infections and long term problems.
Keeping up with semi-annual visits to the dentist is essential in maintaining your oral health by diagnosing and treating problems early. Remaining diligent with you schedule will end up saving you time and money and hopefully keep your mouth pain free.