Professional Dental Cleaning

Cleanings are performed by a Registered Dental Hygienist and will include the following:

  • Gum disease evaluation: Periodontal probings are checked at cleaning appointments and measurements are recorded so that changes in pocket depth can be caught in a timely manner to prevent further bone or tissue decline.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is plaque that has hardened on the tooth and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. It forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments. It is important to remove calculus both above and below the gum tissue for proper dental health.
  • Removal of Plaque: Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth. Plaque is filled with bacteria which, if not removed, will begin to produce toxins that cause inflammation of the gum tissue and can also cause tooth decay.
  • Polishing: This will smooth teeth to make it more difficult for plaque to attach to the tooth surface. It is the least important step of the cleaning, and for people who prefer to skip this step, that is okay. Most people enjoy it as it feels refreshing, and there are a number of flavors of polish to choose from.
  • Root Planing and Scaling: This is a fancy name for the deep cleanings that are done when you have periodontal disease. Deep periodontal pockets develop when there is bone loss and detachment of the gum tissue from the tooth. These are places where buildup can occur and cause further damage to the tissues. It is important to get the root surfaces of the teeth very clean to prevent further bone loss and also in hopes of making the pockets less deep. This procedure is often done with anesthetic so that you are comfortable. People who have had root planning and scaling done are frequently put on 3-4 month recall visits after that to ensure that everything stays clean and healthy.