Dental cleaning is a preventative procedure performed by dentists or dental hygienists to maintain or achieve optimum oral health. In a dental cleaning procedure, the dentist aims to remove the dental plaque and tartar that have accumulated on the teeth to protect them from cavities or dental caries as well as other tooth and gum problems.
While teeth cleaning can be done at home using a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, each person still needs a deeper, more thorough cleaning that only a dentist can provide. This is because regular brushing and flossing cannot completely remove plaque and tartar that tend to stick to the surface of the teeth.
Teeth cleaning is performed at a dental office to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that forms on the tooth surface. Tartar is mineralized plaque that is hardened and difficult to remove with a toothbrush. Excessive plaque and tartar deposits can lead to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums if left untreated. Regular professional teeth cleaning helps prevent decay and treat gum disease. Scaling, a procedure to clean the area below your gum line, may also be performed while cleaning the teeth. Your dentist or hygienist uses a manual scaler or a high-speed ultrasonic instrument to clean the tooth surfaces.
What Are the Different Types of Dental Cleanings?
Not all dental cleanings are the same, and it can be helpful to know the difference between each type in order to determine which dental cleaning is right for you.
It is important to discuss your dental cleaning options with your dentist, and having an understanding of the different types can be useful.
Different types of dental cleanings
There are three main types of dental cleanings: prophylaxis cleaning, scaling and root planing, and gross debridement.
While they all accomplish essentially the same thing — cleaner teeth — they are performed differently and for different reasons. In order to fully understand why and when each type of cleaning is performed, the following is everything you need to know.
A prophylaxis cleaning, otherwise known as a routine cleaning, is performed on healthy patients who just need routine maintenance in order to ensure oral health.
In many instances, a prophylaxis cleaning is performed by a dental hygienist, and it entails removing all the plaque from teeth, removing deeper, hardened plaque (calculus) and any stains that exist on the surface of the teeth. While prophylaxis may not be administered on severely damaged teeth, it is a great dental cleaning procedure to maintain already-healthy teeth, along with daily oral hygiene practices.
Most dentists recommend a prophylaxis cleaning once every six months to ensure plaque has not begun to build up on the surface of the teeth and to clean off hardened plaque if it already has developed.
Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing, which is also referred to as a deep cleaning, is typically only administered to patients at high risk of developing gum disease or patients who have already developed gum disease.
If an excess of plaque begins to build up over time without being properly cleaned off, it can harden and turn into tartar or calculus and has the potential of causing gum disease and other serious oral health complications. When this occurs, a scaling and root planing is needed to ensure that the hardened plaque is cleaned off.
Scaling and root planing is most often performed on patients who have signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, swollen gums or loose teeth.
A gross debridement is a dental cleaning procedure that is often administered by a dentist in order to determine if there are any teeth issues that were not initially noticed before the dental cleaning.
A gross debridement is most often performed on patients who have not visited the dentist in more than a year or who have developed a build up of hardened plaque on the surface of the teeth.
Essentially, a gross debridement is performed by thoroughly working to remove any and all plaque buildup on the teeth and gums. While a simple gross debridement does not take long, debridements that are performed on damaged teeth with a large amount of plaque buildup may take a while to complete.
Importance of Dental Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are an essential part of good oral hygiene. Besides keeping your teeth and gums healthy, a regular dental cleaning allows your dentist to get a look at what’s going on with your teeth so that issues like cavities or gingivitis can be treated early. At Best Dental Istanbul we recommend that patients do a dental visit at least every 6 months. By visiting your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning1, you can keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape and also avoid developing major dental problems between visits.
Why dental cleaning visits are important:
If your dental health is important to you and you like to keep your smile shining, you probably already understand the importance of regular dental visits for cleaning the teeth. But, if you’ve never had a dental cleaning or if you’re wondering whether dental cleanings are high priority or not, consider the following benefits of getting your teeth cleaned twice each year at Best Dental Istanbul:
● Cavity Prevention
One of the most obvious reasons why people visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings is to avoid cavities. It’s much more cost-effective to get a cleaning than to fill a cavity or get a root canal, after all. And teeth cleanings are also a much more pleasant experience than having dental caries filled.
● Tooth Loss Prevention
Gum disease is a serious issue. It starts when plaque builds up on the teeth. As gum disease progresses, the plaque moves down into the tooth where it can destroy supporting bone tissues in the jaw. When this happens, the teeth become loose and begin to fall out. Dental cleanings greatly reduce the odds that a patient will lose their teeth due to gum disease.
● Keep Your Breath Fresh
Dental cleaning helps control the bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for causing bad breath. Though brushing and flossing the teeth regularly can help keep the breath fresh, a professional dental cleaning every 6 months is also important for maintaining an odor-free oral environment.
● Save Money
Some dental insurance plans have low or no copayments for dental cleanings and oral exams, so it can be a huge savings to schedule regular cleanings. And even if your insurance doesn’t cover dental cleanings, patients often find that as a result of regular visits to the dentist, they’re much less likely to need expensive procedures done later on.
● Brighten Your Smile
Who wouldn’t be smiling about saving money on dental costs, but regardless of the financial benefits, patients who get regular dental cleanings have whiter, brighter teeth with fewer stains and far less plaque and tartar.
● Boost Your General Health
The health of your teeth and gums can have a profound impact on general health. The roots of your teeth, after all, are located near your sinus and brain cavities. An infection in a tooth can lead to serious health consequences as a result. On the other hand, regular dental check-ups and cleanings can boost your overall health and help you avoid some serious health issues later on down the road.
What happens during dental cleaning visits?
As a general rule, there are two parts to a dental cleaning visit: the oral examination and the cleaning. During the exam, the dentist will check your teeth for cavities. In some cases, x-rays might be taken to find cavities located between the teeth. The dentist will also look for issues like gum disease or plaque and tartar on the teeth.
There are several important things besides cavities that the dentist looks for during a dental cleaning. Plaque and tartar, gum disease, and cancer indicators are all vital aspects of the teeth cleaning appointment.
Plaque and Tartar
Plaque on the teeth is nothing more than a clear, sticky layer of bacterial colonies. If this sticky substance isn’t removed, it will become hard and turn into tartar. Tartar doesn’t respond to brushing or flossing. Only a dentist can remove tartar from the teeth and once this substance builds up on the teeth, the patient becomes susceptible to a variety of oral diseases.
At Green Tree Dental, we always check our patients for gum disease because healthy gums provide an important foundation for healthy teeth. To check gum health, we use a special tool that measures how deep the space is between your gums and teeth. Healthy gums have shallower spaces, but in people with gum disease, the space becomes deeper. Identifying gum disease earlier can make a big difference in preventing the development of more serious dental issues.
Diseases of the Tongue, Throat, and Neck
A thorough examination of the tongue, throat, face, neck, and head is another important part of a dental cleaning visit. This part of the examination looks for redness, inflammation, or tissue changes indicative of cancer. At Green Tree Dental, we take this part of the visit very seriously because identifying diseased tissue at an early stage can make a life or death difference for our patients.
The Dental Cleaning
Brushing and flossing the teeth at home is absolutely essential for good dental hygiene, but once tartar develops on the teeth, it’s impossible to remove it at home. So, during a routine dental cleaning, the dentist will remove the tartar and plaque by “scaling” the teeth using a special metal tool.
After the tartar and plaque have been removed, the dentist or an assistant may polish the teeth using a gritty paste and a polishing tool that helps remove surface stains and make your smile sparkle. After the surface of the teeth have been polished, the dental professional will floss the teeth to make sure all areas between the teeth are clean.
Between Dental Cleanings
We encourage our patients at Best Dental Istanbul to keep their teeth clean between dental visits. Brushing and flossing are absolutely vital for healthy teeth. We recommend that patients brush at least two times per day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Set aside time to floss at least once each day and use a mouthwash to control the growth of bacteria that cause plaque. Mouthwash will also freshen your breath!
Please fill out the form completely and include the country phone code.