Five Types of Dental Cleanings


Brushing and flossing your teeth will not only give you a healthy looking smile, but it can help prevent many other dental issues as well. You should also visit a dentist to have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis. There are several types of dental cleanings that your dentist may recommend when you have your teeth cleaned.


Routine Dental Cleanings

A routine cleaning is the most common type of teeth cleaning that you can get at a dentist’s office. This cleaning removes stains on the surface of your teeth, and it also helps to remove any debris between your teeth that couldn’t be brushed away. Your dentist will use an ultrasonic instrument or prophy jet to perform a routine cleaning.

Bi-Annual Cleanings

In order to keep your teeth healthy, you should have a dental cleaning at least twice a year, or more often if you have more than normal amounts of plaque or tartar build up. The dentist will use an ultrasonic scaler and dental tools to clean your teeth above and below the gumline. This cleaning removes tartar and plaque build-up, which can lead to tooth decay. After the cleaning, your teeth will be polished with a prophy jet.

Extensive Cleanings

If you haven’t had a cleaning at a leading dental clinic in over a year, or if you have an unusual amount of mineral deposits on your teeth, then you will need an extensive or debridement cleaning. This cleaning will get the deposits from under the gumline and those that are fused to the teeth and their roots. It is performed in much the same way as a bi-annual cleaning, with an ultrasonic scaler and dental hand tools, followed by polishing with a prophy jet.

Scaling and Root Planing

For people who have moderate to severe gum disease, this cleaning is necessary to remove deposits that are fused deeper than the teeth’s roots or when there has been bone loss. It is a more invasive procedure, so patients are given anaesthesia to make them more comfortable while the cleaning is done. The procedure is done one quadrant at a time, and there is a follow-up visit to the dentist two to four weeks afterwards for a normal cleaning and evaluation of the treatment.

Periodontal Cleaning

This cleaning has to be performed by a specialist. It is for those with advanced gum disease in which there is extensive damage to the gums or bone loss. To keep the patient from losing their teeth, a periodontist will perform a scale root planing, which may need to be done every three to six months. This treatment may also be performed if there is an excessive plaque, to keep it from adversely affecting the patient’s dental health.

By having regular dental cleanings, you can avoid plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. Keeping your teeth healthy will also help you stay healthy and avoid having bacteria get into your bloodstream. Consult with your dentist about how often your teeth need cleaning.

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