Dental cleanings are a major component in preventative dentistry. Dental cleanings help fight plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay, gingivitis, if left untreated periodontitis (gum disease), and even tooth loss. Professional dental cleanings with one of our hygienists, along with proper home care, are vital to keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. Contact us today to get back on track.
Types of Dental Cleanings:
Prophylaxis (Basic General Cleaning)
A Prophylaxis is done when you have “healthy” gums. This cleaning removes plaque and calculus ABOVE the gumline. The ability to remove most stain is achieved during this dental cleaning as well.
Gross Debridement (More Detailed Cleaning)
A Gross Debridement aka “Full Mouth Debridement”, is done when it has been a long period of time since your last dental cleaning. This type of cleaning is best if there is alot of calculus on the teeth. We also do the gross debridement to determine what the next step in treatment is. Sometimes, the calculus covers important areas of the teeth where your dentist needs to evaluate. Following this cleaning, there will be a 4-week re-evaluation. This cleaning is great to get you back on track and on the road to happy & healthy teeth!
Root Planning & Scaling (RPS or aka “Deep Cleaning”)
When plaque is left on the teeth, it hardens into calculus. This calculus forms under the gums causing the tissue to pull away from the tooth. Once this happens, it creates a pocket which allows bacteria to enter. This irritant causes bleeding in the gums, causes inflammation & it can even destroy bone if left untreated too long. During this cleaning, the doctor may use a local anesthetic so that you are as comfortable as possible. This then allows the Hygienist to thoroughly remove the calculus causing all the irritation. The hygienist then smooths the tooth surface. Smoothing the surface allows the tissue to tighten back against the tooth which seals the pocket allowing the tissues to become pink & healthy.
What to Expect…
During both a prophylaxis & RPS, the hygienist will sometimes use an ultrasonic scaler which uses water & vibration to remove the plaque and calculus. Along with the ultrasonic scaler, she may use hand scalers to finalize the cleaning. The Hygienist will also go over Oral Hygiene Instructions to better your home care. She will also offer nutritional counseling to get your mouth back to optimal health. A final polishing will be done to remove any stain and smooth the teeth. This is done by using a polish cup or prophy jet, sometimes referred to as the “pressure washer”.
How often should I come?
Many patients require to have their teeth cleaned every a minimum of every 6 months. There are certain circumstances that arise that may require a more frequent dental cleaning. It is dependent on homecare, decay rate, tarter buildup & severity of gum disease. Your hygienist and dentist will determine how frequently you need to come in for cleanings.