A dental cleaning is necessary to remove the tartar and plaque built up on the teeth and gums over time. The dentist uses specialized tools to eliminate these unsavory particles with efficiency and minimal, if any pain. This cleaning prevents tooth loss along with diseases in the body such as heart disease. Oral health really does impact overall health. Though tartar and plaque build up in every mouth, all sorts of problems will develop if action is not taken.
Here is a look at some of dental cleanings that keep the teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
Biannual or Annual Teeth Cleanings are a Necessity
Patients are encouraged to visit the dentist once every six months for a thorough dental cleaning along with an examination. This teeth cleaning should happen a minimum of once per year. The dentist has special cleaning tools that can remove plaque and tartar. Keep in mind the typical toothbrush, toothpaste and floss cannot remove all of the plaque and tartar on teeth and gums. The dentist’s specialized cleaning tools are necessary to eliminate these particles. So do not skip your 6-month visit to the dentist for an in-depth cleaning. Aside from examining the teeth, gums and mouth and performing a thorough cleaning of the teeth, the dentist will also polish the tooth enamel above the gums.
A prophy cleaning is short for a prophylaxis cleaning. This is a procedure in which the plaque on the teeth and plaque positioned at the gum line is removed. However, it does not account for bacteria below the gum line. So if you need your teeth cleaned above the gums to get rid of that pesky plaque that leads to cavity and stains, consider a prophy cleaning.
Scaling & Root Planing
A patient diagnosed with gum disease will require treatment below and above the gum line. These patients receive scaling and root planing. This is a non-surgical treatment that eliminates build-up and smooths out any portion of the root surfaces that are exposed. It might also include the use of localized antibiotics. Scaling and root planing typically takes multiple office visits to complete. Ongoing periodontal care is prescribed at subsequent intervals.
Gingivitis therapy provides additional cleaning services to eliminate the built up plaque on the teeth as well as plaque below the gum line. This therapy is meant for those who have gingivitis, a reversible type of periodontal disease.
This cleaning consists of a generalized removal of calculus and plaque. It is meant for those who suffer from gingivitis or periodontal disease. A gross debridement is typically performed to permit better visibility and access for a diagnosis and subsequent probing. This allows for gum inflammation to settle before additional treatment is provided. Once the gross debridement is complete, a scale and polish is performed for patients who have periodontal disease or moderate to severe gingivitis.
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