Teeth cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and tartar from teeth to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Most dentists recommend having teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
Regular dental exams and cleanings are essential for maintaining a healthy smile. It helps identify potential dental problems early when they are easy to treat.
The Dental Cleaning Procedure
A dental cleaning is the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from tooth surfaces to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health issues. The sticky film of bacteria, plaque, is constantly forming on our teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly can help remove some plaque before it hardens into tartar. Plaque and tartar buildup can eventually lead to serious tooth decay or other dental issues if not addressed. Fortunately, your dentist can remove both plaque and tartar during your cleaning appointment.
The dentist usually performs the cleaning by scaling the teeth with a handheld instrument known as a scaler and then polishing them with a paste and a rubber cup. This removes any lingering bacteria, stains, and leftover debris from the surfaces of your teeth. Scaling and polishing is a routine procedure that should be done at least twice a year to maintain your oral health. If a patient has large accumulations of plaque and tartar buildup, they may be required to get more frequent cleanings.
Types of Dental Cleaning
There are different types of dental cleaning procedures that can be done, but they fall under two main categories – prophylaxis and scaling and root planing. Each procedure is performed for specific reasons, but the most important thing to remember is that regular dental cleanings can prevent you from needing more invasive treatments in the future!
Prophylaxis is a routine dental cleaning appointment that is highly recommended every six months or so, depending on your personal oral health needs. This type of procedure removes plaque from your teeth and prevents cavities and decay from occurring. It’s common for this kind of appointment to last about 30 minutes to an hour. Scaling and root planing is another type of dental cleaning that is performed on patients to treat gum diseases. This procedure cleans out deep below the gum line and eliminates bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease. Typically this type of procedure takes about an hour per quadrant to complete.
A Regular Dental Examination
During a dental exam, your dentist will look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. They will use a small mirror and a dental probe to check for any abnormalities in your teeth. Your dentist may also feel your lymph nodes to detect any signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer screening is quick and completely painless. Your dentist will examine your face, jaw, neck, lips, and inside of the mouth, throat, tissues, and gums during this screening.
The dental examination appointment will likely last between 15 minutes and an hour. If your dentist finds a problem, you may need further testing or treatment. Otherwise, you can schedule your next dental cleaning.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (913) 649-0310 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 5000 W. 95th Street, Suite 300, Prairie Village, KS 66207.