How often do I need to come in a professional dental cleaning?

Why should you visit your dentist twice per year?

Your oral care is a combination of home-care (brushing and flossing) as well as visiting your dentist or hygienist for a professional cleaning. Brushing and flossing at home are vitally important to maintaining a beautiful smile but regular dental check-ups are equally important to identify gum disease and other health concerns related to your head, neck and mouth. When we perform a dental check-up we are not only checking your teeth and gums, we are also checking your neck and mouth for oral cancer.

Why do some patients need to come more often for professional dental cleanings?

Most patients only need to come in for two cleanings per year but there are many individual that need to come 3 or 4 times per years. Reasons people may need to come in more often include:

  • Smokers
  • Periodontal disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immunocompromised
  • Pregnant women (many insurances allow an extra cleaning when pregnant)
  • People who are prone to cavities and plaque build-up

Can some patients be seen annually instead of every 6 months? 

Yes, patients that have minimal plaque build-up and low risk of cavities can be seen annually.

Dental care should be personalized to fit your dental needs. The dentist and hygienist will come up a plan which best fits you. All people develop plaque at different rates so some people need to come every 3 months and others need to come every 12 months. Your dental professional will decide how often you need to come in for cleanings.

Are you due for your next dental check-up and cleaning? Give us a call at 410-672-3501 or send an email to We look forward to seeing you soon!

Deep ShahFields Family Dental
What's with all the poking and numbers during my dental cleaning

What’s with all the poking and numbers during my dental cleaning?

Ever wonder why your dental hygienist is calling out all those numbers at the beginning of your cleaning. Well hopefully she explained what she was doing before she started! What we are doing is using a dental probe to check the depth of gum tissue around your teeth. It’s a proactive way to identify gum disease. The dental probe acts as ruler to measure the depth around your tooth. If you hear numbers like 1, 2, 3 then your gums are healthy and you only need a preventative cleaning. Numbers greater than 4 may indicate the start of periodontal disease and you may need a deep cleaning or to see the periodontist.

Periodontal Charting

Periodontal Charting


What’s a periodontist and why do I need one?

A periodontist is a dentist who specialized in caring for you gums and bone. We may refer you to the periodontist because you have periodontal disease which is also known as gum disease. In some cases, periodontal disease will be treated at our office through deep cleanings and antibiotic treatment. If the periodontal disease has progressed too far or will not resolve then we will refer you to the periodontist. The periodontist can offer more specialized care and attention to your gums and bone. Most patients with periodontal disease will need to be seen more than twice per year for cleanings, usually every 3-4 months.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Fields Family Dental! A little history about St. Patrick's Day, it occurs annually on March 17 in observance of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. St Patrick's Day began as a religious feast day back in the 17th century but has now evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe. People celebrate Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green.

If you have a flex spending account that expire March 31st, don't forget to give us a call to set up your appointment at 410-672-3501 or email us at

Why should I replace my missing teeth?

The goal of modern preventative dentistry is for every person to keep all their teeth for a lifetime. There are many reasons you need to replace your tooth if it has to be removed. Once a tooth has been removed, the bone will start to atrophy, which can make it difficult to replace if you wait too long. If you have multiple missing teeth, your face may appear sunken in and shortened.  Once a tooth is missing, the opposing tooth may erupt into that space causing you to lose this tooth as well. In addition, the teeth around the missing tooth will start to shift because there is now space for them to move.

Best options to replace missing teeth:
1.    Implants
Implants are by far the best option to replace a missing tooth. A dental implant is essentially a screw which gets placed in the bone. The fact that the replacement tooth is in the bone helps to prevent further bone loss. The crown which is placed on top of the implant will be porcelain so it looks very natural. The only drawback is that placement and restoration of the implant could take up to a year.

Dental implant

Dental implant


2.    Dental Bridge
A dental bridge uses neighboring healthy teeth to attach the missing tooth. Bridges are also very natural looking because they can now be made of all porcelain materials. A dental bridge also take less time to complete compared to dental implants. The draw back to a bridge is that we have to sometimes cut down perfectly healthy teeth to anchor the bridge.

Dental Bridge

Dental Bridge



3.    Partial or Full Dentures
Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases or a metal base. The downfall of dentures is that they are not fixed in your mouth therefore; they are not as stable as a bridge or implant. Full dentures consist of a pink plastic base with teeth attached; your ability to chew is greatly reduced with a full denture, especially on the bottom. Another option, if all of your teeth are missing, is an implant retained denture. This type of full denture is much more stable because the denture clicks into the implants.


Partial denture

Partial denture

If you or someone you know has any dental concerns, please contact Fields Family Dental at or 410-672-3501.

When should my baby have his or her first dental visit?

As a mother of two children, parents are always asking me when should they take their son or daughter to the dentist for the first time. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states: In order to prevent dental problems, your child should have his or her first dental check-up when their first tooth appears or by his/her first birthday. I recommend having your child come with you to one of your dental cleanings so he/she can observe your visit before coming for their own cleaning.


Why is it so important to care for your child’s teeth even though they will lose them eventually? Primary or “baby” teeth are important for your child to function normally, being able to chew and speak clearly. Also adult teeth form underneath of the baby teeth, so issues with the baby teeth can cause permanent damage to adult teeth.

Should I floss my child’s teeth? If your child’s primary teeth are close together (like my children) the answer is yes. I love using the Wild flossers by Johnson & Johnson. Many children have spacing in between their primary teeth, flossing is less important if spacing is present.



When can I stop brushing my child’s teeth? Around the age of 7 your child will have the dexterity to brush his or her own teeth. Before age 7 children are not able to brush well enough on their own.

Happy New Year from Fields Family Dental!

It’s the start of a new year so most likely your dental benefits renewed on January 1st. Most dental insurance plans cover two dental cleanings per year. Give us a call at 410-672-3501 to verify your benefits so we can schedule your next check-up and cleaning or pending treatment from 2016.

Deep Shah