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Dentistry/Tartar build up


I have a bonded retainer on the back of my bottom front teeth and there is a lot of built up tartar feels uncomfortable, but in no way painful. I just had my teeth cleaned 3 months ago and it is going to be another 3 months until my 6 month cleaning. What should i do?

Dear Patrick:
This is the shortest response that I ever had to write:
Go and schedule a cleaning with your dentist right away.

Let me explain:
The "every six months rule" is an insurance industry standard.  They know that if you go twice a year, they will be making a good profit from your policy and at the same time, you will be getting adequate care.  The key word is ADEQUATE!
Different people have different reactions to plaque and bacteria.  Some of us do not build up any tartar, others build it up within a few days.  I have plenty of people in my practice who come in for a cleaning every 2 months, some come in every three, four or the traditional six.  It is up to my hygienist and the patients.  I let them decide which schedule is best for each individual.
The bottom line is that if you build up a lot of tartar and do not go often enough, the hygienist will have a tough time cleaning you up and will not be able to get to the stuff under the gum line in the time she has to work with you.
You know what clean teeth feel like.  It is just like a hair cut.  If it gets too long and uncomfortable, go and have it cut.
You DO NOT have to go by your insurance!  They DO NOT know your mouth.  You and your dentist/hygienist DO!
Talk to your dentist/hygienist about the proper frequency for you.
Take care of your teeth, unlike hair, they DO NOT grow back!
Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman


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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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