Dental cleanings, or dental prophylaxis or teeth cleaning, are professional procedures dentists perform to remove plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth due to the combination of bacteria, food particles, and saliva. If not removed, plaque can harden and turn into tartar, which cannot be removed by regular brushing and flossing. During a dental cleaning at Oakland Smile Dental, the dental professional uses specialized instruments to carefully scrape away the plaque and tartar buildup from the surfaces of your teeth, especially along the gum line and between teeth. Dental cleanings are integral to preventive dental care and play a vital role in maintaining good oral health. After plaque and tartar removal, the dental professional uses a gritty toothpaste-like substance and a rotating tool to polish your teeth. This helps remove surface stains and gives your teeth a smooth and shiny appearance.
Benefits of Dental Cleanings
- Removal of plaque and tartar that cannot be effectively eliminated by regular brushing and flossing.
- Prevention of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
- Improvement in the appearance of teeth by removing surface stains.
- Early detection of dental issues, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.
The Dental Cleaning Process
Before starting the cleaning procedure, the dental professional will visually examine your mouth. They will check for any visible signs of oral health issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or other abnormalities. The dental hygienist or dentist will use a special instrument called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the surfaces of your teeth. They will carefully scrape the buildup from the tooth surfaces, focusing on areas along the gumline and between teeth. In addition to manual scaling, the dental professional may use an ultrasonic scaler. This device emits high-frequency vibrations and a stream of water to help break down and remove plaque and tartar more effectively.
After scaling, the dental professional will polish your teeth using a rotating rubber cup or brush attached to a dental handpiece. They will apply a gritty toothpaste-like substance called prophylaxis paste to the surfaces of your teeth, which helps remove surface stains and make your teeth smoother and brighter. The dental professional will floss your teeth to remove any remaining plaque or debris between your teeth and the gumline. This step ensures thorough cleaning and helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay in areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. At the end of the cleaning appointment, the dental professional will provide oral hygiene instructions tailored to your needs. They may demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques, recommend oral care products, and discuss strategies for maintaining good oral health at home.
Deep teeth cleanings, also known as periodontal scaling and root planing, serve as a crucial intervention in combating and preventing advanced gum disease. This meticulous dental procedure goes beyond the surface cleaning offered during regular check-ups. When performed by skilled dental professionals, this process involves carefully removing accumulated tartar and plaque buildup from below the gumline using specialized tools such as ultrasonic scalers or hand instruments. By navigating gently along the tooth roots, these deep cleanings target bacteria that can cause inflammation, infection, and eventual tooth loss if left unchecked. This comprehensive treatment plan may also involve smoothing rough surfaces on tooth roots to discourage further microbial adhesion while promoting healthy tissue reattachment. This complex technique demands dexterity and an astute understanding of oral anatomy to ensure the effective eradication of harmful deposits while minimizing patient discomfort or damage to delicate tissues.
Dental cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health and should be combined with regular brushing, flossing, and a well-balanced diet to support overall oral hygiene. For the best dental care, visit Oakland Smile Dental at 8105 Edgewater Dr., Suite 124, Oakland, CA 94621, or call (510) 924-7310.