“What’s the big deal? I just want my teeth cleaned!”
Professionally cleaning someone’s teeth is not the same as when a person uses their own toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their own teeth. It is far from that. In addition to the meticulous cleaning, polishing, and examination of your teeth, we also take the time to help you develop proper oral hygiene techniques.
A professional cleaning only happens after the patient has received a thorough dental examination and a proper periodontal health diagnosis. If, after your periodontal examination and diagnosis, your dental health indicates that a regular professional cleaning is not indicated, but a more advanced therapy is needed, we will inform you as to why.
We believe strongly in having well educated dental patients. When a person is better informed, they will want what is right for their health.
During your dental examination, we will also make suggestions for preventive measures such as dental sealants or nightguards to protect against bruxism and TMD. Another important aspect of your cleaning and examination is youroral cancer screening. The doctor will check your neck and oral tissues for signs of precancerous and cancerous tissues. Screening for early changes in the oral tissues can greatly help detect precancerous and cancerous tissues at a stage when it can be more successfully treated. We offer to our patients an additional early detection aid called Vizilite, which is a product that allows us to potentially catch abnormal cell changes before they are visible to the naked eye.
Types of Professional Dental Cleanings We Provide
Superficial Cleaning and Polish – This procedure helps remove surface stain and debris that is only on the tooth surface above the gum line.
Professional Adult Cleaning – This procedure uses an ultrasonic scaler and/or hand instruments to remove tarter and bacterial plaque above the gum line followed by tooth polishing.
Extensive Adult Cleaning – This procedure is necessary for people who have heavy tarter and plaque that extends under the gum line. An ultrasonic scaler, hand instruments and superficial polish are incorporated in this procedure. This process usually lasts longer than a regular professional adult cleaning and sometimes may require more than one appointment.
Deep Scaling and Root Planing – This procedure is necessary for people with active periodontal disease, gum disease. Because of the active periodontal disease, it is necessary to clean deep under the gums to remove bacteria and tarter that are contributing to the disease. Often local anesthesia is needed to make the procedure more comfortable. If more than one quadrant of the mouth is involved, it is sometimes necessary to schedule the cleanings over several visits, making sure to keep the appointments as close as possible to reduce the risk of reinfection in other areas of the mouth. Follow up visits are typically scheduled within 3 months to evaluate the tissue response. A maintenance scheduled is then advised.
So, as you can see “just a cleaning” has many meanings. We have found that education is the key to our patients’ success. By thoroughly educating our patients, we know that whatever dental issues they face, they are informed and are able to determine what path of treatment will best suit them.