Professional dental cleanings are usually performed by hygienists. Dentists can perform them as well. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental examwith x-rays and the following:
- Removal of plaque – Plaque is a sticky filmthat forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of bacteria, being nourished by food debris and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums. That inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Removal of calculus (tartar) – Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and has become calcified and firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and requires special dental instruments for removal.
- Teeth polishing – Polishing removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during brushing and scaling.
Healthy gums and teeth require good home care as well as regular dental cleanings. Routine dental cleanings, completed once or twice a year, help eliminate plaque and calculus build up from difficult to reach places that are missed with everyday brushing and flossing. Dental staff may choose to use a vibrating instrument, called an ultrasonic scaler, to better clean and flush bacteria away from the teeth and gums. Regular dental cleanings, x-rays and exams allow us to detect problems early which results in less costly and more conservative treatment.