Q: If most of my teeth are veneers, implants and crowns, why do I still need to have them cleaned?
A: We get this question often. The best analogy I can make is: “I wore this great suit and tie all day, do I still have to take a shower?” Or. “I have fake nails, do I still have to wash my fingers?”
Anything that is not your God-given tooth enamel actually needs more frequent maintenance. Porcelain, composite and titanium dental work will attract more bacteria vs. natural teeth.
The key areas to be cleaned among dental restorations are the margins; the edges of the dental work that meet the gum line, or in some cases go below the gum line. These areas form a shelf that can trap plaque, food and bacteria leading to tooth decay, un-seating of dental work and bone loss around teeth and implants leading to catastrophic failure.
Make sure your hygienist utilizes the proper instruments to clean around implants. They need to be titanium, plastic or Teflon in order to prevent scratching the metal of the implants which will lead to more attraction of bacteria.
The hygienist also need to be super careful that her scaling instruments do not create gray scratches on your porcelain veneers and crowns. She needs to hold the scalers at a very specific angle so as the shank of the instrument does not collide with porcelain.
If any deep pockets in the gum are found with a periodontal probe, 5 millimeters or more, the pockets need to be eliminated to prevent bone loss form periodontitis. Placing Arestin, antibiotic granules of minocycline, after a thorough scaling will accomplish this without surgery.
At the conclusion of the maintenance, cleaning visit, a fluoride varnish is applied to make your natural teeth more resistant to decay.
People also call up and tell us that they only have six teeth and want a discount on the cleaning. Unfortunately, we don’t charge by the pound.