Do I need a deep cleaning to see if I have cavities

by paulette
(il)

Hi. I just had a cleaning and cavities filled about 8 months ago.

I went to a new dentist yesterday just for maintenance and after under a minute of looking around in my mouth with only the mirror tool, he said you have no cavities but you have stains and you need a deep cleaning for him to see if I did have any cavities.

X rays had been done and it would cost $140.00 for the more extensive cleaning.

Question: wouldn't the xray reveal any cavativy? Thank you.

Reply

Hi Paulette, X-rays don't show every cavity but do show most. Very small cavities are not always visible on x-rays. Additional cavities can be found during a cleaning but in most cases the exam can be done with or without a cleaning.

There are exceptions but I can tell you from experience that it would be unusual to need a deep cleaning 8 months after having a cleaning.

Some dentists are doing more and more deep cleanings and fewer and fewer regular cleanings. In some dental offices anyone who has the least bit of stain or tarter is told they need a deep cleaning. I have seen a few of these that come to me for a second opinion.

Unless you have an unusual amount of stain or calculus (tarter) on your teeth and assuming you had a good cleaning 8 months ago and have healthy teeth and gums you shouldn't need a deep cleaning.

If you have 2 regular dental cleanings/exams a year and are in good health, I would consider this a red flag and get a second opinion.

Thanks for writing,
~Shelly

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Oct 03, 2015
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by: Shelly

Thanks for you note Paulette, I'm happy to help:)
Shelly

Oct 02, 2015
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Excellent advice
by: Paulette

Thank you so much for your advice and reply. I just didn't feel comfortable with several things. I appreciate you and will refer others to your site. Thanks again, Paulette

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