Routine dental cleanings are important if your goal is to keep your teeth and also to your overall health. A professional cleaning by a hygienist involves removing mineralized plaque (also called calculus or tartar) that forms above and below the gumline despite daily brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach.
It is recommended you go in for a cleaning and exam 2/year to keep the calculus from levels that are damaging to the supporting structures of your teeth. Excessive, long-term presence of calculus leads to inflammation, gum disease, bone loss, and eventual tooth loss if left alone. Cara, Mandy, and Whitney are experienced skilled hygienists who are able to perform any type of cleaning.
You can expect your dental cleaning to last about an hour for a regularly seen adult and 30 minutes for a child. One of our 3 hygienists will perform your evaluation, xrays, and the cleaning, and Dr. Carlisle will come in for an exam at the end to verify treatment that may be needed. Most people find that dental cleanings are painless, and do not cause discomfort.
We review your medical history, take yearly x-rays, and assess your overall dental health and how existing medical conditions may affect your mouth, as well as perform the cleaning and address any issues we may find. The first step in the cleaning is scaling the teeth, whereby the hygienist will remove the plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. This can be performed by hand or with ultrasonic or mechanical scalers depending on the hygienists preference. The hygienists' main concern is working at and below the gumline to remove any plaque, debris, calculus, or other irritants that are harmful to the tissues. This is followed up with polishing and flossing to create that nice, slick and smooth feeling you have after a cleaning. During the process of a cleaning, a probe, or ruler, is used to determine your bone level and tissue attachment.
Our hygienists also take time to inform you of any conditions or issues concerning your oral health and how to remedy these problems. Whether it is direction about nutrition, homecare, tooth decay, or discussion of future /common issues related to medicines/ health conditions, we can help you reach optimal dental health. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.