Professional Teeth Cleaning
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your oral health. There are three types of cleanings. Our hygienist and Dr Koza can determine which type of cleaning you need.
Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the oral cavity. Prophylaxis is an important treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and to help prevent periodontal disease. The benefits of regular prophylaxis include:
*Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
*A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
* Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) can be indicative of advancing periodontal disease. When left unclean, the bacteria releases byproducts that come from food particles left in hard to reach areas that contributes to halitosis and possibly lead to gum infection. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our office can noticeably improve bad breath and reduce infection.
Prophylaxis can be performed at our office. We generally recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but regular prophylaxis is one of the tools our hygienists can use to effectively halt its progression.
Scaling and Root Planing
During a periodontal exam, one of our hygienists checks your gums for problems. They use an instrument called a periodontal probe to gently measure the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums. In a healthy mouth, this space is very small, less than three millimeters. When periodontal disease is present, the gums develop a deeper pocket that bleeds, collects more plaque and bacteria, and is difficult to keep clean. If it is determined that disease is present (bleeding gums with pocketing 4mm and above), a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing will be recommended. In this treatment, plaque and tartar are carefully removed from down at the bottom of each periodontal pocket. This treatment may be done over several visits, depending on your needs. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed, or planed, to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. This is sometimes called “periodontal cleaning” or “deep cleaning”. Once the scaling and root planing treatment is complete, another appointment will be made 6 weeks after treatment. At this appointment, the dentist or hygienist will look at your gums to see how they have healed and measure the periodontal pockets again. If the disease continues to advance to the point where the periodontal pockets get deeper and the supporting bone is lost, more treatment may be necessary. In some situations with disease that is not responding to treatment a referral may be made to a Periodontist. This is dentist that specializes the treatment of the bone and gums surrounding the teeth.
While there is no cure for periodontal disease, it can be controlled or maintained. Once your periodontal treatment is completed, maintenance cleanings will be recommended at an interval to be determined by your hygienist and Dr Koza. During your periodontal maintenance cleaning, our hygienist will again assess your gum health by measuring the depth of the periodontal pockets. Frequent removal of the bacteria from under the gums can control the inflammation and can often prevent the further breakdown of the bone and gum supporting your teeth.