Routine dental cleanings are important in maintaining good oral and overall health. Professional cleanings in a healthy mouth are done by a hygienist by removing mineralized plaque that can develop even with careful brushing and daily flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. It is recommended you go to the dentist office for a professional cleaning at least twice a year and sometimes more often if needed to maintain your oral health.
Sometimes your oral health may require what is considered a deep cleaning. This is needed when you have deeper pocketing , and possibly infection from buildup beneath your gum tissue. This is called periodontal disease. A sign of this is usually bleeding and or swollen gums. There are varying stages and if treated early and maintained can help prevent seeing a specialist (Periodontist) for more involved treatment.
How it’s done
The healthy cleaning can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour. The trained hygienist will do a light scaling of the teeth and finish with a polishing. The dentist will make an appearance during this time and do a full oral health exam, including oral cancer screening.
The periodontal cleaning involves the hygienist to slightly numb the areas being treated and doing a more deep scaling that goes below the gum surface. This removes any buildup (tartar) below the gums along the root area. This usually takes at least 2 visits approximately 1 ½ hours. The visit may also require the use of certain medicaments to help in the healing especially if any deep pockets are involved.
The different types of cleanings that the hygienist does can involve the use of a sonic scaler and or hand instruments. The polishing is done with a rotary handpiece and sometimes may need to be done at another appointment.