The Smile Shop
Adam Spriggs DDS & Kate Dolin DDS

How often should I be seen for tooth cleanings and examinations?

Examinations of your teeth should occur at least twice a year.  We typically schedule these exams with your cleaning appointments every six months.  Following getting your teeth cleaned by one of our amazing hygienists, Dr. Spriggs or Dr. Dolin comes in to evaluate the health of your teeth, gums, and smile.  We check for signs of cavities by examining the appearance of each tooth with their mirror and magnified loupes glasses. The gums and bone are evaluated with comprehensive periodontal measurement charting while looking for signs of recession and inflamed gums. 

X-rays play a huge role in allowing us to complete a comprehensive and thorough exam.  The different types of x-rays allow us to see the condition between your teeth, which is an area we cannot see directly.  X-rays also help us evaluate and screen for periodontal disease by being able to see bone levels around your teeth.  They also will help us look for signs of infection and any pathology that may be present.

It is variable about how often you should get a cleaning.  While many children and adults require a regular cleaning or “prophylaxis” every six months, some people require getting their teeth cleaned and evaluated more frequently such as every three to four months.  The health of your gums and bone surrounding your teeth play a large part in determining if your teeth need professional cleaning more frequently. 

With periodontal disease, pocket depths (or the space between your gums and tooth) may be deeper than what you can keep cleaned at home with toothbrush and floss.  Initial treatment for periodontal disease is called a Scaling and Root Planing or “deep cleaning”-meaning we reach in under the gums to remove the cause of infection and disease in those deeper pockets.  Following the deep cleaning, we place you on a three to four-month recall to perform a Periodontal Maintenance.  Our main goals with this type of cleaning are to stop the progression of periodontal disease and prevent tooth loss.