Teeth cleaning are a precautionary procedure which is performed by dental hygienists or dentists to uphold or accomplish the best possible oral health. During this procedure, the dentist is targeting the removal of plaque and tartar that have collected on the surface of the teeth. The method helps to protect the patient from cavities and other gum and tooth issues. Regular flossing and brushing can’t remove plaque and tartar altogether; therefore, a thorough cleaning is required at least once every six months.
The goals and expected results
If a patient has current oral disorders or issues, thorough cleaning must be done more frequently. The procedure, also known as prophylaxis, entails the removal of mineralized tartar deposits and plaque on the surface of the teeth and the aim is to avoid additional problems as a result of not addressing the issue. Deposits can accumulate despite a person brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. With routine brushing, you can delay the build-up of plaque, but you can’t eliminate it completely.
The goals of having the procedure done periodically:
- Prevention of teeth cavities
- Maintaining excellent oral health
- Prevention of periodontal disease
- Prevention of too much tartar accumulating
- Removal of surface stains.
The procedure will include these three cleaning techniques:
Teeth scaling – scaling is a method of removing layers or films of substances that have accumulated on the surface of the teeth.
Polishing – polishing is done after scaling and is performed to make the teeth surface smoother.
Debridement – this technique is used in the case where too much tartar has built up and scaling the teeth proved to be unsuccessful. A variety of dental instruments is used to loosen the tartar and then remove it.
Tools and Instruments used for a Dental Cleaning
Ultrasonic devices have prickling vibrations that gently loosen larger sections of tartar while spraying a cool mist of water to clean away the smaller debris that is coming loose.
Curettes or scalers
These are smaller hand tools that are used to eradicate smaller pieces of debris manually. They are effective for scraping off plaque and tartar.
A hand tool that has a soft rubber tip and used for slowly applying the polish on the teeth surfaces.
It may be required for the dentist to apply fluoride during the procedure. Fluoride is available in a gel or foam and helps with strengthening the teeth and compensating for the adverse effects that tartar and plaque had on them. Once fluoride was applied, the patient must avoid eating, drinking, or rinsing their mouth for thirty minutes after application.
Probable risks and complications
The procedure is not painful and is usually comfortable except for the patient having to sit with their mouth open until the process was completed. For patients with hardened tartar which needs to be removed, it can be uncomfortable as it takes longer. After tartar removal, the succeeding cleanings will take up less time. The procedure must be done correctly by a dentist to avoid the risk of injuring the gums and prevent infection or gingivitis.