Routine care to prevent cavities and it's usually covered 100% by insurance.
What Is a Teeth Cleaning?
A professional teeth cleaning is done by a hygienist at our dentist’s office. The hygienist uses tools to remove tartar from your teeth — both above and below where the gum meets the tooth.
Before the actual cleaning process begins, they start with a physical exam of your entire mouth. The dental hygienist uses a small mirror to check your teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums) or other potential concerns.
The dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around the gum line, as well as in between the teeth. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the more time is needed to scrape a particular spot. Once you have tartar, you can only remove it at the dentist’s office.
So if this is your least favorite part of the teeth cleaning process, the lesson is to brush and floss more often! Gums that have not been flossed daily will tend to be more sensitive and may even bleed during your teeth cleaning. If you have implants or removable dentures, this part is especially important because implants and dentures tend to create hard to reach nooks in your mouth.
Regular and deep teeth cleaning
Regular teeth cleaning treatments are mainly done to help prevent gum diseases and cavities. The procedure removes plague and tartar around each tooth, which results in less cavities. Our teeth cleaning treatment involves removing the plaque, polishing all the teeth, and applying fluoride if needed. This treatment usually takes an hour. No shots are needed for this. And your insurance usually covers 100% of this treatment fee.
Deep teeth cleaning becomes necessary when you're beginning to have gum disease, gingivitis. Gum disease causes breakdown of the bone, and eventually causes the loss of teeth. Deep cleaning uses a procedure called "root planing". Root planing is the process of smoothening the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure.
Will You Need an Antibiotic?
Certain dental treatments such as cleanings can allow the bacteria found in our mouth to enter into the bloodstream (called bacteremia). The majority of people have a healthy immune system that prevent these bacteria from causing any harm since only a very small amount of bacteria will enter.
However, for some people that have pre-existing conditions, if during the teeth cleaning procedure bacteria enter into the bloodstream it may cause some issues. For those who may be affected, they are usually aware since their medical doctor would have already advised them. For certain groups of people, there is concern that this bacteremia could cause an infection elsewhere in the body. An antibiotic makes sure you cover all your bases. (But just to make sure, that is one of the reasons why we have you fill out a patient form before any routine dental procedure like teeth cleaning is done.)
Questions to Ask During the Teeth Cleaning Appointment
- Do you notice any gum recession?
- Do I have any gum disease?
- How deep are my pockets?
- Am I over-brushing?
- Am I grinding my teeth?
- What's plaque?
A build up of microorganisms, which is a soft, sticky, bacteria infested film. It causes cavities and gingivitis.
- What's tartar?
It's also called calculus. It's a result of plaque build up over a long time. More info on wikipedia.
- What is Gum Disease? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth, which causes tooth loss and inflammation.
Schedule Your Teeth Cleaning With Us
Most dental insurance cover two teeth cleanings per year. Waiting too long with allow plaque and tartar to buildup even further, which can lead to more dental problems later on. If you haven’t had your teeth cleaned within the past 6 months, call us to schedule an appointment.
Email us any questions you or schedule an appointment.