Dental cleaning is the non-technical term user for professional oral hygiene which encompasses the removal of hard and soft deposits from the teeth and an oral prophylaxis to polish them. It is important to have a dental cleaning performed by a dentist or hygienist on a regular basis to ensure continuous maintenance and good health of the gums. A complete dental examination is usually carried out during the same visit, when X-rays may also be taken for diagnostic purposes.
Plaque is a soft sticky film consisting of bacteria and food particles that accumulate on teeth especially around the gum line. If brushing is inadequate in this area the plaque combines with the minerals present in the saliva and foods to form a hard calcified substance that adheres to the tooth surface. This mineralized plaque is called Calculus or Tartar, and is extremely resistant to removal by a toothbrush.
Depending upon the extent of tartar deposits, a dental cleaning may include up to four different procedures as follows:
- Scaling: This is the removal of all hard deposits from the root surfaces.
- Root Planning: Once the hard deposits are removed, the root surface is treated in order for the gum to heal.
- Polishing: A fine paste is used to remove the stains and buff the teeth.
- Fluoride treatment: This is a gel that is applied to the teeth in order to control dental decay.
Generally our clients are seen every six months for a hygiene appointment and examination, although individual requirements vary. Some clients may need routine visits on a three monthly basis and others on a six monthly basis. Our office extends you the courtesy of contracting you when it is time for your routine visit. Should we fail to do so however, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that regular visits are not forgotten or missed.