I recently went in to the dentist (last time was 2 years ago), got me teeth cleaned and polished, and later got some work done that now I kind of regret (grooves filled in, and weak enamel 'fixed').
This got me thinking about the benefits/practices of modern dentistry, and since I have sensitive teeth which started being more sensitive after the dental work (my guess is the polishing), that it might not be a good idea to polish teeth.
My thinking is that using a mild abrasive to 'polish' the teeth serves to wear away a layer of enamel, which my dentist informed me never regenerates to it's original level (remineralization occurs, but no 'mineralization'). Since I really liked sour candy when I was a kid, and damaged my enamel a good bit and don't want to lose any that I still have, shouldn't I forgo getting my teeth polished?
asked byBristlebeard (2297)
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on October 01, 2011
at 02:37 AM
I am a dentist. The amount of enamel wear from having your teeth polished even twice a year (as is usually recommended) is insignificant compared to the wear resulting from everyday eating. However if left on the tooth too long, the polishing cup can produce heat, which can irritate the nerve. The purpose of polishing is only to remove whatever stain couldn't be removed during the scaling. It's not essential and you can certainly ask your dentist not to do it.
on October 15, 2012
at 10:45 PM
Generally speaking, the sensitivity is more than likely coming from a bit of exposed root as opposed to weak/thin enamel. The gum usually covers up the root, but many times, patients with aggressive, scrubbing toothbrushing habits will literally wear away the gum and enamel in the area, exposing the softer, more porous, and more sensitive root structure.
I've found that either using a fluoride varnish or using a sensitivity toothpaste helps to clog the dentin tubules and reduces or eliminates the sensitivity in most patients I've prescribed it to. Teeth can be sensitive from a host of other areas however, but as Mr. Trashcan noted, the yearly or biannual polishing alone should not be causing severe sensitivity.
on October 21, 2014
at 02:20 AM
The dentist gave me a rinse for sensitivity.
on July 10, 2013
at 12:05 PM
This is nice information blog. Thanks for Sharing.
on May 16, 2013
at 04:05 PM
In my opinion, polishing at the dentist should be avoided if possible. Superficial staining is not harmful, and it is not a dentist's job to remove plaque. There is not commonly any clinical justification, generally speaking, for polishing the teeth. If calculus (tartar) needs to be removed, polishing is not the solution.
on February 23, 2013
at 05:32 AM
I never went to a dentist the first 25 years of my life. Had strong teeth. Last I went to a dentist was several years ago, when during a routine cleaning and polishing, he scraped off the top of my enamel, next to the gumline, on one of my teeth. This tooth has been sensitive ever since.
My other faux pas was an electric toothbrush and using toothpaste. I now use baking soda to brush my teeth very gently. I do not do cleanings, polishings, annual visits etc.
I eat well.
on October 15, 2012
at 10:20 PM
Yes, I find tooth polishing to be too intense and scary for my sensitive teeth. I'm sure that they lacked lustre after their polishing, rather than gaining it and it didn't feel right at the time, nor after.
on September 14, 2012
at 08:42 PM
I also had my teeth polished and it wore off significant amount of the enamel. White stains started to appear on the surface that I had never seen before. Not to mention that teeth have become terribly sensitive. It was made prior to fluoride therapy. In my case I didnt need it at all, because my teeth were perfectly clean before the polishing. Perhaps my enamel is not as firm as it should be. Why don't doctors warn patients with weak enamel about harm of polishing?