A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. Dental cleanings are crucial to the maintenance of good oral health.
What Does a Dental Cleaning Involve?
We offer deep dental cleanings with root planing and scaling at Historic Hyde Park Dentistry. Root planing and scaling are deep cleaning techniques used below the gumline to remove deep-set plaque. By removing plaque beneath the gum line, we’re able to eliminate built-up bacteria that can cause gum inflammation that can lead to bone and tooth loss.
Dental cleanings are typically performed by a dental hygienist. To start, your hygienist will use an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water to loosen larger pieces of tartar. This device makes it easier to fully remove these pieces of tartar in the next stage.
Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. The main tool used to remove these deposits is a scaler, which is a hand-held instrument with a curved, pointed tip. Scalers are effective at removing tartar and plaque in small, hard-to-reach areas. As the plaque and tartar are removed, you may hear and feel a scraping sound against your teeth. Rest assured that this is normal; the scraping won’t harm your teeth.
After removing tartar and plaque by hand, your hygienist will brush and floss your teeth. After you rinse, a fluoride treatment will be applied for cavity protection.
Now, once all the tooth surfaces have been cleaned of tartar and plaque, the teeth are air polished. This step brightens the teeth for a healthy-looking smile. After the cleaning, individualized home care instructions will be provided based on our findings and your individual needs.
Improved Comfort With Numbing Injections
We have a certified injector on staff to offer numbing injections for dental cleanings. By numbing the mouth before a deep cleaning, you can stay calm and comfortable throughout the office visit.
The Importance of Dental Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are an essential part of any oral health regime. Here’s why:
- The removal of plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth in a dental cleaning lowers your risk for gum disease.
- Most surface stains and discoloration on your teeth can be removed during a dental cleaning, so you’ll walk away with a more radiant smile.
- Dental cleanings can help you avoid cavities and other common tooth problems.
- The home care tips provided by your dentist during a dental cleaning can help you maintain good oral health into the future.
To schedule your next dental cleaning, contact us today.