You may think that all dental cleanings are the same. While the goal of every dental cleaning is to remove plaque, prevent decay, and ensure the optimal oral health, the cleaning process can be different depending on several factors.
Regular Dental Cleaning
Prophylaxis, commonly known as a professional dental cleaning, is a purely preventative measure included with your regular dental checkups. These dental cleanings focus on removing plaque and other irritants from the mouth, flossing, and polishing of each tooth. Deposits build up on your teeth and form tartar, which is a leading cause of many oral health problems. While you should strive to keep tartar from building through regular brushing and flossing, invariably some deposits are stubborn and need more attention.
Regular dental cleaning is part of the overall dental checkup and essential to maintain a healthy smile and avoid gum disease. Tartar that is not removed from prophylaxis can build and form under the gum line, which then leads to periodontal disease and can result in tooth or bone loss. This cleaning also removes stains from the visible area of the teeth, above the gumline.
Regular dental cleanings are recommended for all of our patients who don’t have bone loss, periodontal disease or infection near the teeth or in the mouth. It is the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
If you have periodontal (gum) disease, you may already have had a special cleaning called “scaling and root planing.” You also may have had periodontal surgery. The dental cleanings recommended after these treatments are called “periodontal maintenance care.”
Periodontal maintenance involves a cleaning that is deeper than a normal cleaning in a dental office. Patients with a history of periodontal disease need deeper cleanings because periodontal “pockets” have formed. Pockets are spaces between the teeth and gums where plaque and tartar form.
While more intensive, this cleaning process is essential to restore and maintain gum and bone health. If bacteria are present in your mouth, it can lead to inflammation, infection, and can cause other health issues. Periodontal maintenance will require you to come in more frequently than every 6 months.
If periodontal maintenance is prescribed for you, don’t worry! We work with every patient to ensure comfort during the procedure. Your dentist will talk to you about appropriate anesthetic options and how frequently you should plan on the cleaning procedure. We can also help work with insurance to understand what amounts are covered depending on your plan.
No matter what kind of cleaning you need, rest assured you will receive the highest-quality care at North Boulder Dental Group. We are an experienced team of dental health experts that will have you looking, and feeling, great about your oral health. Contact us to set up an appointment!