Shiflett Family Dental

How Often Should I Visit My Dentist?

May 7, 2020
Posted By: Dr. Justin Shiflett
Family scheduling a dentist appointment

Seeing your dentist regularly is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth and body. Dr. Shiflett and the rest of the team advise getting a dental cleaning in Clintonville at least twice per year. There are circumstances where more frequent or less frequent visits are more appropriate, but biannual appointments are the most common recommendation. 

Why do I need cleaning so often?

At Shiflett Family Dental, prevention is our number one priority. Since our mouths harbor lots of bacteria, we need to make sure we stay on top of their levels. Many of the bacteria in our oral cavity are good, but some are harmful. Having a professional cleaning removes the leftover deposits of bacteria that we miss while brushing and flossing at home.  

Shortly after brushing and flossing at home, bacteria and other material in your mouth can combine to form an adherent film called plaque. If this plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar (referred to as calculus) and become even trickier to get rid of.  Even if you are diligent and skilled at brushing and flossing, professional cleaning by dental hygienist becomes essential to remove these deposits.

What if I don’t get a cleaning?

If the calculus and plaque aren’t removed, bacteria within them will cause inflammation of your gums and oral tissues. The bone supporting your teeth will begin to break down from this inflammation, causing deep pockets to form. These pockets become impossible for you to keep clean and can eventually result in tooth loss. The dental term for this type of inflammation and bone loss is periodontal disease. 

Deep Cleanings (Scaling and Root Planing)

If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, the first line of defense is a deep cleaning in Columbus, OH (called scaling and root planing). For deep cleaning, we will numb the teeth and gums we are working on to keep you comfortable. Our skilled hygienists will then eliminate the tartar and plaque that has led to your periodontal disease. After the treatment is finished, the team at Shiflett Family Dental will have you return to our office to see how well you have responded.  Most times we will advise that you come back for a cleaning every 3-4 months to ensure that your periodontal disease stays under control.

Preventive Care

The prevention of periodontal disease is only one way of seeing your dentist regularly assists in avoiding future problems. After the hygienist cleans your teeth, Dr. Shiflett will complete a systematic exam of your entire oral cavity and check for anything suspicious. In particular, we keep a close eye out for signs of oral cancer.  Oral cancer can form and progress quickly, so early detection is extremely beneficial to your overall prognosis.

Another aspect of prevention involves the digital x-rays we take at our office in Clintonville. Dr. Shiflett recommends dental x-rays at a frequency tailored to each patient’s risk for dental disease. The images we take allow Dr. Shiflett to see where he normally can’t: in between your teeth. Getting a glimpse of these areas to let us find cavities when they are small and manageable. By changing your diet and improving your oral hygiene, we have the potential to halt these early cavities and possibly avoid treatment altogether. 

To keep your string of regular appointments going, or to have us design a prevention program specifically for you, give us a call at (614)262-1807 today!

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