Q1. Why every time I come for a cleaning appointment, my dentist gives me a bunch of other treatments as well?
Answer: Once all your dental treatment has been completed, your dentist will put you on a recall schedule. Basically, you have to come back in a regular basis for oral hygiene (scaling and polishing on your teeth) and an oral examination. The purpose of your recall examination is for the dentist to monitor the condition of your oral health. He/she will check to make sure you don’t have any new cavities, no periodontal problems, and no new pathology such as oral cancer, that are developing, no breaking down of existing restorations etc. Often, during the recall exam, your dentist may need to take some checkup x-rays (called Bitewing x-rays) in order to make the correct diagnosis because cavity or gum problems can develop in some places (especially in the posterior teeth) that clinical examination cannot detect. Sometimes, your dentist will decide to give you topical fluoride treatment as well if you belong to the high risk group of developing cavities. Some people sometimes tell me they don’t want all this, just a “cleaning!” is enough for them. They do not understand every other treatment in a recall appointment is as important as “cleaning!” The oral cavity is an important part of your body that you use all the time. It needs maintenance and care from time to time, just like your car and house.