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Article written by: Dr Mitchell Innes
Why do I need a clean every six months? Before answering this very common question, I would first like to congratulate those patients who have suffered dental phobia who have taken a big step forward by visiting Casey Dentists. The entire
team is so proud to be able to help all of our patients get on track to a healthier mouth and life.
The question above is one I hear every day and have done since I was an undergraduate student. When asked this question I feel as though my patient hasn't been properly educated about gum disease and its related illnesses. This is my time to give them what he or she most wants - information and an understanding of why and what we are doing when ‘cleaning' teeth, including a diagnosis of exactly what type of gum disease they may have, along with the severity and other factors that determine the treatment prescribed for individual patients.
Every person has a unique oral environment, where specific factors influence the type and level of disease activity. It is the disease diagnosis along with internal and external factors that influence exactly what treatment is required to get disease-free and stay that way.
"Up to 80 per cent of the population suffer gum disease to some degree."
Personally, I am a very low-risk patient for gum disease. I brush and floss my teeth twice a day. Yes, I like the feeling of a clean mouth, but more importantly know exactly how to clean each tooth in my mouth to minimise plaque build-up. Although I'm a low-risk patient and as such have no active gum disease, I do however get a small build-up of calculus (hardened mineralised plaque) over a 12-month period for which I get a scale and clean. I had it the other day and feel confident that if I keep up my good work at home I will only have to have my teeth cleaned once a year.
Unfortunately, most new patients I see don't floss and only brush once a day. This being the case, it is no wonder that up to 80 per cent of the population suffer gum disease to some degree. In my experience, my patients have historically
overlooked gum disease because it only causes pain, discomfort, poor aesthetics and difficulty chewing in later stages where there is loss of bone around individual teeth. By this stage there is only one choice of treatment - extraction of the offending calculus-covered tooth.
At Casey Dentists we strive to help you achieve your own individual goals for your mouth and as such have a great team of oral healthcare professionals to support you along the way. It is very satisfying seeing a patient progress from suffering active gum disease to stable gums as well as keeping their teeth!