You went to your dentist and got the cleaning of your life. Your breath feels fresher, your teeth feel stronger and your bleeding gums are slowly starting to heal. Now your dentist decides that it is best for you to come in every 3 to 4 months for a dental cleaning. But that is a lot of cleanings in one year and sounds like a big commitment. Is it worth investing the time and money to go for so many dental cleanings? Or should you insists on sticking with the 6 month routine which is what you are used to and also what your insurance covers?
Pros of a Dental Cleaning Every 3 to 4 Months
1. If you have gum disease you can build up tartar and calculus within just a few weeks. If you have gum disease you may have lost some of the supporting bone structure surrounding your teeth. This bone loss will result in deeper pockets and larger gaps which are harder to clean and tend to gather tartar and calculus very rapidly. You may have your dental cleaning done but within weeks you already have tartar and calculus building up all over your teeth. Six months is too long to go without having another dental cleaning if you have more advanced stages of gum disease or rapid tartar buildup. Your dentist is best suited to make a recommendation on the frequency of cleanings you need based upon your bleeding levels, size of your gum pockets and the accumulation rate of the tartar. Typically they choose either every 3 or 4 months based on the seriousness of your gum disease to best control the tartar buildup.
2. Getting more frequent cleanings makes your subsequent cleaning appointments much easier. Once tartar and calculus has gathered on your teeth it will start to damage your gums and supporting bone. Removing hardened tartar and calculus can be painful and tedious and typically involves multiple rounds of scraping teeth to dislodge and remove all these harmful particles. If you haven’t had a cleaning in a while your first round of deep cleaning will likely consists of several cleaning appointments which require anesthesia and are somewhat painful cleanings. If you wait too long between your cleaning appointments the tartar and calculus will become calcified again and you will continue requiring painful and difficult cleanings. Getting more frequent cleanings will make it easier both on you and your dentist or hygienist to remove the buildups before they have a chance to become very hard. Depending on how rapidly you are building up tartar you may need to get a dental cleaning every 3 to 4 months to prevent the buildup of these damaging particles. You may also have to consider improving your home oral hygiene routine to better clean your teeth in between your dental cleaning appointments.
3. Getting more frequent cleanings to keep your gums healthy will actually cost you less in the long-run. How could going for one or two more cleanings a year cost you less? If you can manage to maintain your gum health with a few additional cleanings then you can avoid or postpone more advanced gum treatments, known as periodontal treatment. These periodontal treatments will have to be administered by your dentist or a gum specialist known as a periodontist and are very difficult and expensive. We are talking about laser therapy, gum surgeries, grafts and even tooth removal and placing dental implants. A few extra cleanings a year to protect the health of your gums to keep your teeth for many more years sounds like a much wiser and more economical solution than neglecting and losing them in the long run. That is of course if you are planning on keeping your teeth!