A dental cleaning is a routine type of dental appointment that most patients need to undergo at least twice a year, assuming that they are currently in good oral health. Patients who have some form of gum disease may need to have more frequent dental cleaning appointments to remove accumulations of plaque and tartar.
Purpose of Dental Cleanings
Plaque is a sticky substance created by oral bacteria, which adheres to the teeth and around the gum line, irritating the gums and leading to an infection known as periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease. As plaque remains on the teeth, it will harden over time into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional using specialized dental instruments.
Dental cleanings are normally preceded by dental exams. Your dental team will be examining your teeth, mouth, and gums to check for any problem signs like tooth decay, gum disease or oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Screening
You may or may not undergo a comprehensive oral cancer screening during your dental exam. Many times, your dental hygienist will be performing a cursory examination to look for signs of oral cancer. If anything concerning is spotted, a biopsy can be ordered. Biopsies involve removing a small amount of tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.
Assuming that everything went well during your dental exam, you would then move on to your regular dental cleaning appointment. Otherwise, your dentist would need to take a closer look to provide treatment recommendations.
Dental Cleaning: What to Expect
After the completion of your dental exam, you would undergo a dental cleaning appointment to remove accumulations of plaque and tartar from your teeth and under the gum line. Your dental hygienist would use dental instruments to scrape away plaque and tartar to prevent the development of gum disease.
After removing all plaque and tartar from your teeth, your dental hygienist will carefully floss in between your teeth with dental floss. This helps to remove trapped food and food particles from in between your teeth to prevent gum disease.
Finally, your dental hygienist will polish your teeth to a smooth and attractive finish. You would then be sent home until your next dental exam and cleaning appointment.
Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning
Are you concerned about the development of tooth decay and periodontal disease? By keeping up with your routine dental cleaning appointments, you are giving yourself a great opportunity to prevent unnecessary and costly dental treatments after tooth decay and periodontal disease have developed.
Please contact our office today to schedule your next dental cleaning appointment or to request information about any of our dental treatments and procedures.