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It’s important to schedule a professional dental cleaning with your dentist every six months to prevent large amounts of plaque buildup, because even the most thorough brushing technique can leave plague behind. The average routine dental appointment lasts between 25 and 30 minutes. Regular dental cleanings are important for a healthy dental regimen because plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. Scaling, root planning, and polishing should all be a part of good a dental cleaning.
Scaling: Maintaining good oral health can make professional dental cleanings go smoother and reduce the amount of scaling or “deep cleaning” done during your regular visit. Plaque and tartar buildup your teeth creates an perfect environment for bacteria to grow, which may explain why gums are prone to bleed during brushing, flossing, or even eating. So, scheduling an appointment with your dentist every six months is important so the hygienist can treat plaque buildup and help prevent a severe case of gum disease.
A dental hygienist may perform scaling by hand, use an electric scaler, and/or a combination of both. When scaling, the dentist scrapes excess plaque from the surface of teeth.
Root planning: For moderate and advanced cases of gum disease, root planning will be performed to treat and prevent gum complications. In order to understand why this is necessary, it will help to learn about the progression of gum disease. When the gum is inflamed due to the excessive buildup of plaque and tartar, gum pockets become deeper and may even lose connections to the bone inside. Deeper pockets make it an opportune environment for plaque deposits to become trapped and cause discomfort and gum problems.
Root planning becomes necessary when the gum is inflamed due to the excessive buildup of plaque and tartar. Gum pockets may become deeper and may even lose connections to the bone. In root planning, the dentist inserts a pointed tool called a scaler into the gum pockets to remove the buildup of plaque. Depending on the severity of the case and the degree of difficulty, several visits may be required and/or the use of local anesthesia.
Polishing: The final step of teeth cleaning is polishing, which involves finishing the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean. The two types of polishing are air brush polishing and rubber tip polishing. Air polishing works by spraying high-pressured water mixed with baking soda paste onto the surface of your teeth. This powered water washes away residue and plaque while the baking soda removes stains. Rubber tip polishing uses a low-speed and gentle handpiece that contains a polishing paste made of abrasive ingredients that are ideal for removing stains.
Dental X-rays are pictures of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues around them to help find problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. Cavities, wisdom teeth, and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination can be shown by X-ray pictures.
The following types of dental X-rays are commonly used. The X-rays use small amounts of radiation.
Fluoride works to prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps promote healthy teeth by disrupting acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth provide optimal conditions for plaque to accumulate. These teeth have fissures or grooves that make molars vulnerable to decay. Such fissures pose a challenge for adequate brushing as the deepness and narrowness of them can make it difficult to clean and to keep plaque out.
This is why it’s common for the dentist or hygienist to brush on a coating that seals these grooves and pits to form a smooth brushing surface. Sealants help provide reassurance that cavities won’t be forming in these hard-to-reach places and help keep your teeth healthy.
While brushing and flossing on a regular basis is the best preventative step against developing gingivitis, there are important signs to look for in case you need further treatment. Gingivitis occurs when gums swell due to bacterial infection, usually from plaque. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance into a more serious, destructive form of periodontal disease, which may lead to Periodontal Therapy.
Periodontal Scaling and Root Planning entails the use of a special tool called a scaler to remove the plaque and tartar that has accumulated below the gum line. The gum tissue will usually heal and reattach itself to your teeth after this procedure. In extreme cases, periodontal surgery may be required.
There is an advanced system being used to create crowns for patients while they wait. It’s called the PlanScan Restoration System. This new process may take only 2 hours as opposed to weeks of waiting. In this process, the dentist numbs the area and shapes your tooth for the new crown.
However, instead of taking a messy impression, the dentist now uses a scanner to create a three-dimensional image on a computer screen. After the new crown is designed by the dentist, it is made right in the office from porcelain. When the crown is ready, the dentist bonds it into place. It is an amazing technology that we are lucky to provide to our patients, at no extra cost to them.