I went to the dentist today. I haven't been in 10 years. I know, I know. They took x-rays and found LOTS of very hard tartar. So instead of the usual scrape scrape, polish polish, they got out the heavy duty equipment. It was an ultrasonic tool. It rotated 10,000x/sec and blasted the tartar apart. So she scraped all around my teeth with that for a solid 1/2 hour. It was not fun. It took enough time that I have to go back and have them hand-scaled and then polished.
The big surprise is that after 10 years of not seeing the dentist, and some questionable hygiene habits (pop, coffee, not brushing enough, no flossing) I do NOT have to go back for fillings!! He said I had no cavities!! What the hell!!? I guess the occasional sensitivity is just from exposed roots (still not good) which is fairly normal as we age.
The hygienist commented that it looks like my home care is good. And the dentist himself said I have very nice teeth.