A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most routine dental cleanings take less than an hour.
Cleanings should be performed at least every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include charting and measurement of periodontal pockets – the spaces between your gum and your tooth. These pockets along with other factors determine the type of cleaning you need.
Scaling and root planing is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces with a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as ultrasonic scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. Both ultrasonic and manual scaling methods can be combined to achieve the best results. Polishing completes the cleaning, making the surface of the teeth smooth and minimizing future plaque build-up.
If your pocket measurements indicate the presence of periodontal (gum) disease your cleaning will be more extensive and we will recommend you return more often than every six months to control the progression of the disease.