I Don't Like Cleaning
Quite a few patients do not like professional cleaning. To a dentist, it is equal to "I don't want to keep my teeth". Mrs. Park has lost several teeth. Some of remaining teeth are not so stable, particularly bottom front one, which is very loose (Fig.1 *). X-ray shows that there is a big space/gap between the teeth (S); the gums (G) and bone (B) are receding. The root (R) has not much bone for support.
When the tooth is extracted, there is a lot of tartar attached to the tooth and the root (Fig.2 arrowheads).
When there is no tartar, our gums (Fig.3 red) fill in the space between the teeth, while a lot of bone (blue) supports the root of the tooth (yellow outline).
Without proper personal hygiene (especially floss) and professional cleaning, tartar is slowly depositing on the tooth and root (Fig.4 white line) and causing barely unnoticeable infection. The infection causes the gums and bone to be receding over a long period of time (down arrows). The bone is also moving away from the root (horizontal arrows). So the bottom front tooth is quite loose.
When the loose tooth is taken out, deep bone has to be used to support a new root, so called implant (Fig.5 I). The top of the implant (*) is holding a new crown (Fig.6 C). But the lost gums and bone will never recover.
In brief, regular professional dental cleaning keeps our gums and bone healthy so that our teeth remain as long as possible.
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Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 12/25/2014, last revision 12/26/2014