Twice a Year Cleaning
The twice a year cleaning came to be as a matter of preventative care. Seeing your dentist twice a year became excellent insurance to preventing big, expensive dental problems. This continues to be true unless you fall into the high risk category of individuals.
Typically, this is what happens at your dental cleaning: You will fill out a health history or health history update form. Your hygienist will review this information and ask any pertinent questions.
The hygienist will clean your teeth which involves removing built up plaque and tartar on your teeth and below the gum lines. Then he/she will floss and polish your teeth.
He/she will also look for any problems that the dentist should be made aware of. If there are areas of concern, x-rays maybe taken. X-rays can diagnose problems that cannot be seen by the human eye such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.
Once the hygienist is done, your dentist may or may not come in to perform an examination (dependent on what the hygienist has found or whether the patient has any questions for the dentist). Typically an exam by the dentist is done once per year or as needed. Once you are done you should pat yourself on the back because you have taken the initiative to take excellent care of your teeth!
Advanced Dental Cleanings
There are times where a regular dental cleaning is not enough to take care of all the plague and tartar on your teeth. This is usually because of neglect in visiting the dentist. Don’t be discouraged if you fall in this category. After you rectify the situation, you can smile with pride and be very happy that you addressed your issues.
Debridement is the removal of large amounts of plague and tartar (calculus) from your teeth.
Calculus, more commonly known as tartar, is the result of plaque buildup that hardens (calcifies) on the teeth. Once you brush your teeth, plaque begins to form on your clean teeth within 24 hours. Within two to three days, the plaque begins the calcification process, morphing into calculus (tartar).
Once calculus (tartar) collects on your teeth in large quantities, it needs to be removed via the process known as debridement. A dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic device to remove the calculus (tartar). The ultrasonic device incorporates a combination of high-frequency vibrations with water to extricate the calculus (tartar).
After the debridement procedure, we will examine your teeth and determine which type of dental cleaning you will need. Remember that debridement removes all of the buildup so your dentist can see your teeth.
Periodontal Cleanings (Deep Cleaning)
A deep cleaning is actually a specific procedure performed by your dental hygienist (anesthesia maybe necessary) to treat gum and periodontal disease.