Importance of Regular Cleanings and Oral Health
Professional cleaning involves the removal of plaque and tartar build-up that cannot be removed through everyday brushing and flossing. Plaque is a thin layer of film that forms on the teeth. It is comprised of bacteria from food and saliva. The bacteria in plaque, if left untreated, eats away at the enamel of the tooth and will cause tooth decay, inflammation of the gums, periodontitis (gum disease) and even tooth and bone loss. When plaque has been left on the teeth and hardens, it becomes calculus, which forms on the teeth and gums above the gum line. Calculus can only be removed using professional dental instruments.
Professional cleanings are performed by a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). A Dental Assistant may also be present during your appointment to help with your dental care. During regular cleanings, invasive tools such as drills are not used so there is nothing to be nervous about. The treatment should only take about thirty minutes and may include the following:
Scaling: Your hygienist will use a dental scaler and other hand-held instruments to gently remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. The deposits will be carefully scraped off of the teeth and washed and suctioned away with an air-water syringe.
Tooth polishing: The removal of unsightly stains and plaque that was not removed during brushing or scaling. The RDH will likely use an ultrasonic instrument that moves continually in circular motions to remove the stain. This might cause a slight “tickling” sensation, but should not be uncomfortable. The air-water syringe will be used to suction away excess saliva and water. If there is a lot of plaque and tartar build-up, the polishing may take longer than normal. After polishing, the teeth will usually have a smooth, clean feeling.
Root planing: Root planing, or gum therapy, may be necessary if the gums have either started to recede or if calculus has built up around the roots of the teeth below the gumline. Much like with scaling, ultrasonic instruments will be used to remove plaque and debris from the teeth, providing a deep cleansing effect.
Application of fluoride: After the cleaning is complete, the RDH gives you a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a gel painted on your teeth topically, usually taking about thirty seconds. The fluoride helps strengthen and protect the teeth from cavities and decay. Your RDH will ask you not to eat or drink anything immediately after the fluoride has been applied to allow it time to work.
It is a good idea to book an appointment for a professional dental cleaning every six months as a preventive measure in an effort to keep dental care affordable. Plaque and tartar build-up will be carefully removed from your teeth, providing them with a deeper clean than just brushing and flossing alone. It will also give you an opportunity to keep in touch with your Tulsa dentist, Dr. Coursey, to discuss your dental care and any oral health concerns you may have which is a great way to stay healthy and nip potential dental problems early on!
We are now offering free take home whitening for patients with paid exam, x-rays and cleaning. Don’t have insurance? No problem, Tulsa Premier Dentistry is now offering a Free exam and x-rays. Contact us or give us a call at 918-364-8180.
As seen on http://tulsapremierdentistry.com/