"Deep Cleaning Doesn't Sound Natural To Me!"

"What is this deep cleaning business is about? It seems so unnatural to me!" That is what I hear all the time. When a dentist recommends deep cleaning to a patient, it means that the person might have gum disease. The dentist can tell you how often you should get the treatment. I still have to yet meet a person who doesn't want to save their teeth as long as you can. Yet, when I tell my patient that the tooth is hopeless and needs to pull out, often patient ask me back. "Is there any way that I can save it instead of pulling?" Well. . . There is no way to save that tooth, but you can save the rest of the teeth by getting the deep cleaning. By the way, deep cleaning is not really correct term. It should be called non-surgical active periodental therapy.

I had a patient knocking on my door, who wanted cleaning appointment as soon as possible. As I sat down with her and talking with her, she said, "I had a death sentence in teeth." I said, "Surely you are joking, aren't you? There is no death sentence in dentistry! She said, yes. I went to the best dental clinic (Seoul National University Hospital Dental Clinic) and the denist told me the death sentence to my teeth. They said, why bother to get treatment. Just enjoy for a while and pull all of your teeth and get a denture. . . She then decided that was not acceptable. That was the turning point in her life. She carries brush and floss everywhere and anywhere. She never miss four month checkup and cleaning. That is why when she came from San Francisco for taking care of her daughter and she literally knocked my door to see me so that she doesn't miss the cleaning appointment. Obviously, when I saw her teeth, she had worse teeth than normal people. But her death sentence was 10 years ago!!! It is the power of maintence in dentistry. You can not change your gene, but you can surely change the course of direction right away with your action.

A lot of patient tell me that deep cleaning doesn't sound like natural to them. I tell them it isn't! I am convinced that a lot of things in life is not natural. After few years of trying, I am so sure that violin playing is not natural. Only two generations ago, no one had deep cleaning and losing teeth in midlife was way of life. Now it is not acceptable and shouldn't be. But you have to do unnatural thing of maintaining in order to keep your teeth in your 70's and 80's. 

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