How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Stewart Shernan Your Own Question
Stewart Shernan
Stewart Shernan,
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 373
Experience:  Owner, Practitioner at Stewart D. Shernan, DMD
Type Your Dental Question Here...
Stewart Shernan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm trying to get a 2nd opinion on the cleaning needed for

Customer Question

I'm trying to get a 2nd opinion on the cleaning needed for my teeth. It's been about 3 years since i've been to the dentist. I've always had tartar problems on my lower front teeth, and usually that buildup, and subsquent gumline irritation is what will drive me to go to the dentist and get a cleaning. I went to a new dentist this time, and was surprised for him to say I needed some very expensive and lengthy "deep clean". I am about to talk to another dentist that used to clean my teeth years ago, but I'm getting a bit worried. My teeth do not appear loose, but I think my (only lower front) gums have receded a bit, and I can sort of feel that bottom edge of my teeth there with my fingernail. The gums behind the front bottom teeth also feel a bit rough and sort of swollen after brushing. I have very little bleeding, even after flossing. My thoughts are things may be a bit worse than usual, but trying a regular cleaning should still be an option. Is there any definite way for me to determine if I have any "bone loss" or my teeth and gums have somehow taken a new turn for the worse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Stewart Shernan replied 1 year ago.

Hello there,

If it has been about 3 years since you've been to the dentist and you have heavy calculus, gumline irritation, some recession and exposed "edge" of your teeth which you can feel with your fingernail, it is likely that a simple cleaning will not be adequate. There is likely calculus below the gumline in certain areas. This requires a "deep cleaning". In addition, the amount of calculus present may simply be more than your dentist feels he can adequately remove & clean in a normal cleaning appointment.

As far as determining if there is bone loss or a "turn for the worse: : A clinical exam plus Xrays generally reveal bone loss - and calculus below the gumline. They can also show bone loss and any deterioration in your periodontal health (gums and supporting bone).

A second opinion is always an option - the choice should be yours. But from what you have described, a deep cleaning makes sense.

Please let me know if you need additional information to answer your question. Otherwise I'd very much appreciate a positive rating for my effort. That is how I am paid for my work here.

Be well,

Dr Shernan

Expert:  Stewart Shernan replied 1 year ago.

Do you need any additional information to answer your question ? I'm here to help - and happy to do so.