What Happens During Dental Cleanings?

 In Blog, Oral Health, Shreveport Dentist

what happens during dental cleanings? - Shreveport's dentist Dr. Ben Kacos

What happens during dental cleanings?

We all know the importance of oral hygiene, and following a strict oral hygiene regimen may be the line between a healthy, radiant smile, and numerous visits to the dentist for advanced, painful and quite costly procedures such as root canals and implants.

One of the most important aspects of correct oral hygiene – that is more often than not overlooked – is frequent visits to your dentist for teeth cleaning. We don’t mean the regular brushing and flossing that you do every day, but professional teeth cleaning where even the hardest and most sticky food remnants and plaque are removed from your teeth at the hands of a professional dentist or hygienist.

Teeth cleaning (also known as scaling) is probably the most common dental procedure, that is done hundreds of times each day, and is also the simplest dental procedure there is. For that, Dr. Ben Kacos explains what happens during a standard dental cleaning in Shreveport, LA:

Diagnosis and Examination

The first step is a quick and thorough look at your teeth. The aim of this procedure is identifying the areas where food remnants, plaque, and tartar are gathered. The usual areas are the inner side of your lower front teeth and the outer side of your upper back teeth. This is because these areas are hard to clean with a brush, so they are often overlooked, and also because they lie just across from opening of salivary glands, so saliva literally bombards these areas with minerals and calcium causing the build-up.

The Actual Dental Cleaning Procedure

This is the part where these remnants and deposits are removed from your teeth. The dentist would use an ultrasonic scaler, a machine with a metallic tip that vibrates at supersonic speed, to loosen the sticky calculus deposits from your teeth, which are then washed away using a steady stream of water. In some areas where you might feel a bit of sensitivity, the dentist would use a hand scaler, which is an instrument with a tip similar to a small knife that flakes away from the calculus and tartar. We asked our friend, Dr. Farhat, a dentist in Sterling Heights, MI, about dental cleanings. Dr. Farhat says that this part of the dental cleaning is the most important because they get your teeth as clean as possible. 

Polishing Teeth

After the scaling is done, the surfaces of the teeth are a little rough, so the dentist would use a special polishing paste, together with a brush mounted on a turbine to smoothen this roughness. This paste and brush also polish away the stains and colors that have accumulated from years of coffee and smoking, so your teeth become white and bright, good as new.

Deep Cleaning Teeth

In some advanced cases, where the tartar build-up is so deep that it reaches the surface of the root, you would need an advanced procedure known as deep cleaning. This is where the dentist would use specialized instruments to reach the deepest areas of the pockets and clean the hardest to clean areas. This procedure frequently requires the area to be numb, so expect to be given some anesthesia.

These are the main steps of the cleaning procedure, but what about frequency? How often should I get my teeth cleaned professionally by your dentist?

When You Should Get Your Teeth Cleaned by Your Shreveport Dentist

Well, there is no specific time period written in the book. You just need to have your teeth cleaned whenever the tartar and plaque start building up. You can sense that if you feel the spaces between the teeth getting filled, or when you feel your teeth getting rough and of course when you start experiencing some sensitivity of your teeth.

Other than that, you should go for a check-up every 6 to 12 months time. That way, even if there is no tartar or plaque, your dentist could just have a quick look and make sure that no other treatment is needed. Frequent check-ups are the essence of good oral and dental health.

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