Q. What is the difference between a cleaning and scaling?
A. Many people come to the office knowing the mouth needs to be cleaner. For new patients, we prefer to obtain information through the medical history, examination and dental films on the first visit. If time permits and oral conditions are conducive, a cleaning can commence. The cleaning or prophylaxis is a procedure whereby tartar, stains and debris are removed from the tooth surfaces and the teeth are polished. Depending upon how conscientious the patient has been will determine the time necessary to complete the cleaning. If the deposits are unusually heavy or there exists gum disease, whereby there are pockets or deepened gum/bone detachments from root surfaces, scaling is the ideal treatment. Accordingly, more involved treatment planning, presentation, execution, and possibly several appointments could be necessary.
Q. Why fill baby teeth? They're coming out anyway.
A. The baby teeth serve as a most integral component in the growth and development of the child. Properly maintained, these teeth remain free of disease and discomfort. A large cavity, unrestored, can facilitate an orthodontic (braces) problem by allowing faulty and premature movements of other teeth. The permanent teeth erupt at different intervals and these baby teeth need to be healthy throughout their stay. Cosmetically, emotionally, and phonetically, properly cared for children also reflect most favorably upon their parents.