The answer to that question is NO! The most common reason for a patient in my office to get upset is when they come in wanting a regular cleaning and I deny it due to the fact that they have periodontal disease.
I start every exam with the same verbiage, ‘ I am going to probe or measure the health of your gums. You will hear me call out some numbers, 1-3 are considered healthy and anything above 4, we MAY be talking about concerns with gum infection. ‘ I proceed to do my examination, call out a few 5’s and 6’s and it never fails…’ Can I just get a regular cleaning doc?’
Periodontal disease is gum infection that begins to effect the bone. If left untreated or the if the proper treatment is not being done, over time you WILL begin losing teeth. Unfortunately, you can not get that bone back however, you can get those gum tissues healthy to the point where the numbers decrease and tissue is reattached to the tooth so that bacteria can not get very deep and make the bone continue to run away or disappear. The only way to begin treating periodontal disease is with Scaling and Root Planing or a deep cleaning.
You can not do a preventative (what insurance covers) cleaning in a diseased mouth.
Because it is already diseased. What would it be preventing?
Below are a few X-rays (not mine) that we also look for in diseased cases.
If these areas of concern are not addressed properly, overtime you begin to lose teeth.
So, the next time you are at the dentist, listen out for the numbers being called. Ask to view your X-rays. But, trust us, no, you can not just get a regular cleaning, it’s actually for the better.