You may be at home brushing your teeth and realize it’s been a while since you’ve gone in for a dental visit. You may notice that it’s harder to get a “clean” feel after brushing and flossing your teeth. You may even notice that you have bad breath that persists even after brushing your teeth. It may be time for you to have your teeth cleaned. Greenwood Dental Care provides general dentistry services in Illinois.
What’s the Purpose of a Teeth Cleaning?
Teeth cleaning helps remove stains that cause your teeth to appear dull and discolored. Having a routine cleaning during an office visit isn’t just about brightening your smile. While brushing and flossing at home is essential to good dental hygiene, the more powerful techniques applied during a dental office cleaning remove plaque and other buildup you can’t get off at home. Dental cleanings are easy procedures–just look up “dentist near me” and you’ll find plenty of results.
How Does a Standard Teeth Cleaning Work?
When you go in for a dental visit, a dental hygienist typically cleans your teeth. It takes around 30 to 60 minutes to complete the entire procedure. The hygienist typically starts by examining your teeth using a small mirror they use to spot problems like tartar buildup, plaque, dark spots, or gum inflammation. That helps them identify areas they need to target. If your hygienist spots a more serious issue, they may call in the dentist for a deeper examination.
Next, the hygienist uses a scaler, a small tool with a hook-shaped end, to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gumline. Some rely on an ultrasonic scaler that relies on water and gentle vibrations to remove deposits from your teeth and gums.
After removing all visible plaque and tartar, the hygienist applies a prophylaxis paste and uses a handheld electric tool to polish and remove stains from your teeth. Finally, they complete the dental cleaning by using floss to remove any remaining paste and plaque. You can also opt for a fluoride treatment, which involves putting fluoride gel into a mouthpiece and placing it in your mouth for around one minute.
Most patients get through dental cleanings with minimal pain or discomfort. However, you may have a harder time with the procedure if you have issues with:
- Sensitivity because of inflammation or tooth decay
- Have not had a cleaning in a long time
- Experience jaw pain because of other medical issues
What is a Deep Cleaning?
Your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning, also called a scaling and root planing, if they see signs of gum disease. A deep cleaning goes below your gumline all the way to the root. Brushing your teeth isn’t always enough to stop the buildup of tartar below your gum line and lead to gingivitis. Dentists use X-rays to determine the amount of buildup below your teeth and schedule you for a deep cleaning appointment.
During the scaling part of the deep cleaning, your dentist uses a tool to remove plaque and tarter located above and below your gumline, getting down into the pockets. The root planing portion involves smoothing out your roots to encourage your gums to reattach to your teeth.
Some people rely on a local anesthetic to get through deep cleaning. There may be some soreness and sensitivity for up to a week after the procedure.
Find a Dentist in Your Area
Greenwood Dental Care welcomes all Illinois residents in need of general dentistry. Feel free to call us at 855.528.3961 if you need a dental cleaning or other services, including:
- Pediatric dentistry
- Family dentistry
- Oral cancer screening
- Tooth extractions