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Food remaining after scaling

After 20 years of being a hygienist, in the last few weeks I’ve apparently missed some thin supra calculus on the lingual of the lower anteriors teeth and some stain as well as some food impacted in a broken tooth. I found out when one of the dentists reported this to our office manager who then spoke to me. I couldn’t figure out why until I realized that I broke my glasses not too long ago and I’ve been wearing an old pair until the new ones arrive. I thought that the 2 pairs were the same prescription but it seems the ones I’m wearing are actually the previous prescription. When I followed up with the dentist in question he agreed that the problem could be that I am not seeing things as well right now but he took particular issue with the food. He basically accused me of not scaling that tooth at all and then called me a liar when I said I did. “I mean, that food was packed right up to the occlusal surface. You can’t tell me a scaler ever touched that tooth.” The thing is, I know I scaled it. I always explore every tooth, and I don’t skip teeth unless a patient orders me to leave a particular tooth and then I document everything. I always floss too. My question is how could this happen? It was a molar that was broken interproximally, allowing the food trap.

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1 Answer

Unfortunately, I really don’t know how this could happen if you scale, explore, and floss every tooth. I would suggest investing in a good pair of loupes! No one is perfect and things can be missed, however, for your dentist to call you a liar is a bit concerning. I’m really at a loss as to what to say having not seen the patient myself except going back to the point that no one is perfect, not even the dentist.

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