What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?
A dental cleaning is a process in which one or more teeth are cleaned with an instrument. The cleaning can be done with a toothbrush, water flosser, and/or air polisher. A dental cleaning usually lasts between 10-and 30 minutes, depending on the number of teeth cleaned.
The health benefits of a dental clean include better oral hygiene and prevention of gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay (tooth decay). Dental cleanings typically cost $100-200 for adults and a half for children under 18 (depending on state laws).
Routine tooth cleaning prevents more serious oral health complications than a deep ones. For example, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss if it’s not treated early. Therefore, it’s important to maintain healthy oral care by scheduling regular cleanings.
1. A physical exam
Your dentist will look for any signs of problems, such as cavities, gum disease, or tooth decay. They may also take x-rays of your teeth to understand better what needs to be cleaned.
This will help reduce any discomfort you may feel during the cleaning process.
2. Removing plaque and tartar
This is done with a scaler or toothbrush. Tartar is a hard deposit that can form on the teeth if plaque is not removed regularly. It can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
This will remove any remaining plaque and help protect your teeth against decay. Finally, the dental hygienist will apply fluoride varnish to your teeth. This helps to protect your teeth against cavities.
3. Gritty toothpaste cleaning
This is done with a tool that looks like a tiny dental drill. It’s not as bad as it sounds – the procedure is actually quite painless. Next, your dentist will polish your teeth with gritty toothpaste to remove any remaining plaque and stains. Finally, they will floss and rinse your mouth with water.
4. Expert flossing
They will then examine your teeth and gums for any signs of disease or infection. Next, they will clean your teeth using a special toothpaste and water jet. The hygienist may also use dental floss to remove any plaque or tartar between your teeth. Finally, they will polish your teeth with a special paste to remove any remaining debris.
This removes any remaining toothpaste and debris. Rinsing also helps to wash away any acids that may have been left on your teeth after brushing.
6. Applying fluoride treatment
This helps to protect your teeth against cavities. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by making the enamel (outer layer of your teeth) stronger and more resistant to acids from plaque and bacteria. It also helps to remineralize areas of your teeth that have been affected by tooth decay.
Types of Dental Cleanings
1. Prophylaxis Dental Cleaning
It’s a thorough cleaning of all the surfaces of your teeth with specialized instruments, plus polishing. A prophylaxis dental cleaning is recommended at least every six months to remove plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease and cavities.
2. Scaling and Root Planing Cleaning
The dentist uses special instruments to scrape off the calculus (tartar)built upon your teeth’ roots. This procedure also helps to remove any rough patches on the tooth surface.
The dentist will clean below the gum line during this procedure, where plaque and tartar can build up and cause inflammation.
3. Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning
This type of cleaning is recommended for people who have healthy gums and who brush and floss regularly. A periodontal maintenance cleaning usually involves a deep-cleaning procedure, during which the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line.
4. Gross Debridement Cleaning
It is usually performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting. Gross debridement requires sharp instruments, such as curettes, chisels, or scalers, to cut through tartar and remove it from the teeth and gums.
In some cases, sedation may also help keep the patient calm and relaxed. After gross debridement is complete, the teeth are polished to remove any remaining debris or stains.