Most dentists recommend undergoing a dental exam and cleaning twice a year, or every six months. Professional dental cleanings not only keep your smile whiter and brighter but also have a significant impact on your general health and wellbeing.
Proper oral hygiene habits help to ward off plaque buildup, tartar, gum disease, and tooth decay. It can also help prevent more serious health conditions. Poor dental health has been linked to cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, stroke, bone loss, and other medical problems.
Your dentist in Clermont may recommend different types of dental cleanings based on the condition of your teeth, any oral health problems you may be experiencing, and how long it has been since you visited a dentist. Here’s a closer look at some of these types of cleanings and what steps they consist of:
A prophylaxis cleaning is a standard preventive measure that involves inspecting the mouth for signs of potential problems and thoroughly cleaning the teeth. This routine procedure typically starts with a basic medical history to determine if there have been any recent changes to your health, such as a new diagnosis or pregnancy.
As part of your prophylaxis cleaning, your Clermont dentist or hygienist may take X-rays of your teeth to check for problems that may not be visible to the naked eye, such as cavities. There are different types of X-rays, such as bite-wing X-rays used to examine the molar and premolar teeth. How often you need dental X-rays will depend on your age, oral health, and risk for disease.
Next, your hygienist will perform a periodontal probing. This involves measuring the depth of your gum tissue using a tool called a periodontal probe. Finally, a dental cleaning will be conducted using special instruments. These instruments are used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and below your gumline. Your hygienist will also polish your teeth.
Scaling and Root Planing Cleanings
Scaling and root planing cleanings refer to a type of deep cleaning that involves the removal of plaque and tartar stuck below and above the gumline. This restorative dental procedure is often recommended by local dentists after a patient’s bones, gums, and surrounding tissues have become damaged due to periodontal disease.
As scaling and root planing can cause some discomfort, local anesthesia is generally administered to help control pain. Next, your dentist or hygienist will perform subgingival scaling. This scaling removes plaque and calculus from between the gums, under the gums, and on the base of the teeth crowns. Planing is the removal of cementum which is a type of calcified film that builds upon the tooth root.
Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings
Periodontal maintenance cleanings are similar to traditional dental cleanings but involve a more comprehensive approach. While regular cleanings are performed as a preventive measure, periodontal maintenance generally addresses existing problems with your oral health.
During a periodontal maintenance cleaning, your dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and tartar, similar to a traditional dental cleaning. The procedure also involves cleaning between the teeth down to the gums, which is a component of scaling and root planing. During the procedure, the pockets of the gums will also be examined to look for signs of inflammation or infection. The area may be flushed with an antiseptic.
Gross Debridement Cleanings
A debridement cleaning refers to the gross removal of plaque and tartar that may interfere with a dentist’s ability to perform a comprehensive oral health exam. Gross debridement cleanings generally take significantly more time and effort than your typical six-month cleaning. You may also require additional procedures like scaling and root planing.
During the procedure, an anesthetic is generally administered for pain control. The dentist or hygienist then uses an electric scaler or ultrasonic device, in addition to some manual instruments. These will help clean the exposed areas of teeth. Next, the roots are scaled to ensure a thorough cleaning. In some cases, an additional cleaning may be scheduled for four to six weeks later.
Contact Our Clermont Dental Office
Dental cleanings are an important component of preventive dentistry. They can help maintain your oral health and reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. To learn more about the different types of dental cleanings or to schedule a cleaning, contact Hancock Village Dental.