Advancements have also been made in the development of tools to prevent problems. At Wilshire Smile Studio, we have made it our mission to utilize state-of-the-art technologies and help patients get informed and get in control of their oral health.
HAVE YOUR TEETH CLEANED AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR
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.
Your hygienist 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 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.
ADVANCED DENTAL CLEANINGS
Technical Terms to Know About Dental Hygiene
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.
How is periodontal disease diagnosed?
Deep cleaning is also known in the dental world as scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and from the pocket area between the teeth and gums.
The other part of deep cleaning is root planing (with anesthesia). The dental hygienist will use a scaling instrument to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots of your teeth. A scaling and root planing procedure will require a minimum of two to four visits as an appointment. A follow-up visit may be necessary to confirm that your gums and teeth are getting healthier and there is no pocket depth.
After this deep cleaning appointment, the bacteria in the pockets of the teeth will be removed and in the next few weeks the gums should become healthier. Your teeth will be watched very closely and you may need to have cleanings every 3 to 4 months.
What happens if you forgo a debridement or a deep cleaning?
Periodontal disease only progresses–it does not heal itself. There are many stages of periodontal disease, the final one being loss of teeth because they are no longer connected to the gum tissue below the surface of your gum line. Loss of teeth can be repaired, but of course, cleanings, including debridement and deep cleaning, are much more reasonable.
We are happy to answer any other questions you may have regarding preventing and fighting periodontal disease.