What Happens During Your Teeth Cleaning Appointment

Posted on: August 15, 2016

Teeth CleaningScheduling a teeth cleaning is one of the most essential steps you can take to make sure you do not have gum or periodontal disease. We find that people who do not regularly engage in having their teeth cleaned are more at risk for getting these kinds of conditions. If you have not had a regular professional teeth cleaning appointment at least once every six months, we may be required to perform a deep teeth cleaning in order to get your teeth properly cleaned. For most patients, we recommend that you schedule an appointment at least twice a year, to come in and have a regularly scheduled routine maintenance teeth cleaning done. This helps to keep your teeth clean and shiny and also helps us to catch any potential issues before they become serious. The objective of cleaning your teeth is to reach those hard-to-reach spots that your toothbrush cannot go. This allows us to remove plaque or tartar buildup before it goes deeper into the tooth and requires a deep cleaning.

What Happens During a Cleaning Appointment

A dental teeth cleaning is designed to remove plaque and tartar that have built up on the teeth over time. Plaque is a sticky, soft film that contains millions of bacteria that love to live on your teeth. If left unchecked, these bacteria can cause cavities, gum disease, and other complications that you want to avoid. Generally, we will use an ultrasonic instrument and a dental mirror to help us observe the teeth and look for signs of irritation, swelling, decay, tartar, or bleeding that could lead us to the conclusion that there are further problems that need to be investigated. The ultrasonic instrument we use has a mild vibration technology that loosens larger pieces of tartar. It also sprays mists of cool water to wash away the tartar and debris loosened by the vibrations. The tip of the ultrasound instrument is rounded and curved and is kept in constant motion. Once we have removed the larger pieces of tartar, we will switch to find a handheld instrument with which we can eliminate the deposits on the tooth and also smooth the tooth surface.

Once the surfaces of the teeth are clean, we can proceed to the part of the process that many patients find uncomfortable. Part of a good dental teeth cleaning involves polishing the teeth, where we use a slow-speed handpiece that contains a soft rubber cap. Using a gritty toothpaste-like chemical solution, we gradually shine the teeth. To do this, we allow the solution to spin over the teeth, which creates a shiny and smooth surface. We may also apply fluoride as the final step in the teeth cleaning process. Most dental teeth cleanings take less than 30 minutes, though they may take up to an hour if there is significant work to do.

Once your teeth cleaning is complete, we will let you know if we observe any soft spots, infections or problems that need to be addressed.  Next, we will create a plan for treating them.


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