We get a lot of questions at Method Dental from our patients. One of the best and most common ones is “Why can’t a dentist just do a cleaning without a check-up?”
The first thing to say is that treatment only follows proper diagnosis.
Without diagnosing the health of your gums there is no way to for us, and you, to know whether you have gum disease or not.
Gum disease is where the germs in your mouth, cause plaque and calculus to build up, it then gets below your gum line where you can no longer keep everything clean and the gums and bone that support your teeth become infected, they start to shrink and eventually, you can lose your teeth!
A regular preventative cleaning, scale and polish or “cleaning” at the dentist is supposed to clean your teeth, around your gums, and usually just slightly below them. It can make your teeth look and feel really clean, which people love, and it is important to maintain both healthy teeth and gums.
But a regular cleaning is not designed to treat gum disease. It is designed to help to prevent gum disease.
So, you can see that, if you were to have a regular preventative cleaning while suffering from undiagnosed gum disease, you may be at risk of losing your teeth even though you’ve been attending the dentist regularly!
This is exactly what happened to a patient of mine. A young woman had been going to a number of different dentists over a couple of years, only having her teeth cleaned without having her gums checked, and then came to me with a toothache. It turned out that she had developed gum disease around her molars which had caused swelling, bleeding, pus formation and of course – pain.
This is why we insist on checking your gums before a cleaning.