Improving Your Oral Health
In addition to routine dental exams, routine dental cleanings are incredibly important for maintaining your gum health. Periodontal disease (disease of the gums and bone), is one of the leading causes of tooth loss and need for tooth extractions.
There is not a one size fits all frequency for dental cleanings. For most people without periodontal disease, a regular dental cleaning (otherwise known as a prophy) every six months is sufficient for maintaining good hygiene. However, some people with heavier plaque and calculus buildup (who may require a deep cleaning, known as scaling and root planing) may need to be seen on a three to four month basis in order to maintain good periodontal health. The type of cleaning you need and the frequency at which you need to be seen will be determined by your dentist following your comprehensive exam.
Your Comfort Is Our Priority
Our dental hygienists are very gentle and have an attention to detail. We make sure that you are comfortable throughout the entire cleaning. In the event that you need a deep cleaning, you may need to be numbed in order to ensure that you are not experiencing any discomfort.
Deep Cleaning Vs. Routine Cleaning
A routine cleaning, otherwise known as a prophy or polish, is indicated if you have healthy gums or mild-moderate gingivitis (gingivitis means you have slightly inflamed gums). During a regular cleaning, the visible portion of your teeth (known as the clinical crown) is cleaned using a combination of ultrasonic instruments and hand scalers. A regular cleaning is then finished with a final polish and in some cases, fluoride application. A deep cleaning is indicated for patients who have periodontal disease. In patients with periodontal disease, the gum tissue is usually inflamed and there is bone loss around the teeth that is noticeable on the dental x-rays. Plaque and calculus debris will begin to accumulate under the gums in the areas where bone has been lost. A deep cleaning involves going underneath the gum tissue in order to clean the debris that cannot be visibly seen. Based off of your clinical evaluation and dental x-rays, your dentist will let you know what type of cleaning will be beneficial for you in order to improve your oral health.
In the above illustration, the left two images would require a regular cleaning and the right two images would require a deep cleaning.
If you are past due for your dental cleaning, give our San Antonio office a call to schedule an appointment with one of our incredible dental hygienists!