Time for Another Visit... Already?

While there is no universal "right" number of times to visit the dentist for regular continuing care appointments, the recommended average is two times per year. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, and the most common is that people with heavy plaque and calculus (also known as tartar) buildup need more frequent attention, as do people with certain disorders such as diabetes, which tend to lead to a higher risk of gum disease.

Regular cleaning sessions ensure that bacteria is removed from around and below the gum line. Your treatment will include scaling and polishing procedures to remove plaque, calculus and stains from teeth. "Scaling" is the procedure whereby we scrape the deposits from the parts of the teeth that show above the gum line, as well as the hidden bacteria below the gum line. If the calculus is not removed, it irritates and inflames the gums, ultimately leading to gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Your dental visit will also include a detailed check for unusual sores or changes in your tissues that may indicate oral cancer, any deterioration in fillings, crowns or other restorations, new decay, signs of periodontal (gum) disease, root cavities (decay in the roots of the teeth exposed by receding gums) and impacted wisdom teeth. It is vital that any infection identified in your mouth are dealt with immediately, as periodontal bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs to begin new infections. Research is suggesting that this may contribute to heat disease, the risk of stroke and even a woman's risk of having a pre-term low birth weight baby.

It is vital to maintain regular dental continuing care appointments, even if you fell no symptoms of a problem. In many cases periodontal disease can sneak up on you with no discernable symptoms; in other cases you'll notice red, swollen gums that bleed easily, or that your teeth appear longer or have shifted. In any case, please ensure that you continue to keep up your regular dental maintenance schedule and advise us of any new symptoms that you may be experiencing.