The differences between a holistic cleaning and a “regular one” are:
The condition of the whole mouth tells a story. It is but a reflection of what is going on in the body. For example, when simply looking at the teeth and their position from x-rays, one can reasonably predict if there is a “bite problem”, whether or not orthodontics has been performed, if sleep apnea might be an overlay condition that someone has, etc.
When seeing various multiple missing teeth that have drifted, you know it is of long duration and that there are significant other compromises awaiting within.
This type of analysis, when coupled with the examination, yields a wealth of data – not only about what is within your visual field – but also the likely impact to the rest of the body is dealing with. For example, heart disease issues with removed wisdom teeth or gum disease is present, or, if root canal teeth are present in the front teeth, it is not uncommon that there might be evidence of blood in the urine.
Regular scheduled cleanings are important for several reasons. The most important is to have a visual assessment of your ever changing oral condition. The changes might be small and not noticeable or there can be some great changes. These only surface in awareness by examination. Pain is an indicator of an oral problem but it is an overall poor one. Most issues we encounter occur without pain of any type being involved.
Another reason is that if there is excessive build up of tartar it can be more easily managed for you with a greater frequency of visit. It is very common that once people have periodontal disease, quarterly visits are the norm and more in line with the actual disease process.
Dental cleanings are typically covered by your insurance program. HOWEVER, there is a wide gap and diversity of what that coverage is. Your employer purchases a particular plan based on his/her generosity and what the plan has to offer. They are ALL different. It is a difficult game to play because there is no one set level of reimbursement.