While dentists recommend a dental cleaning every six months, according to 2020 CDC statistics, nearly 40% of Americans over 18 have not had a dental visit in the past year.
Undoubtedly, there are many factors contributing to these figures, including financial challenges and emotional hurdles like dental anxiety. And, for many, it all simply comes down to the fact that dental cleanings are seen as a cosmetic, non-essential procedure.
However, the right dental cleaning does not only remove plaque build-ups and cavity-forming bacteria. They also work as regular checkups that can prevent serious issues, such as infections, tooth damage, decay, and gum disease.
Unsure where to start? Learn about the different types of dental cleaning procedures available and book the best one for your needs at Worcester Quality Dental.
Prophylaxis (or Preventive) Dental Cleaning
The most common type of dental cleaning is prophylaxis or preventive dental cleaning. This routine procedure is normally performed on patients who benefit from good dental health. The main aim of a preventive dental cleaning appointment is to maintain this level of health by:
- Cleaning plaque and tartar
- Removing build-ups from the back and front teeth
- Removing stains and sediments between teeth
- Checking for symptoms of tooth decay and gum disease
This kind of dental cleaning is routinely performed by a dental hygienist and patients are recommended to book an appointment every six months. It can be as often as every 3 to 4 months for higher-risk patients.
Scaling and Root Planing
In some cases, a routine cleaning procedure might not be enough to restore your oral health. For example, if you show signs of gum diseases – like gingivitis or periodontitis – you might require what is known as scaling and root planing or simply a “deep cleaning”.
During this kind of treatment, your dentist at Worcester Quality Dental will:
- Scale your teeth, or remove plaque and tartar build-ups on the visible areas of your teeth and from the gum pocket
- Plane the root, or smooth the areas around the tooth’s root, thus making it easier for the gum to reattach and close off any socket that might contribute to the growth of bacteria and build-up of sediments.
This treatment is useful for both periodontitis and gingivitis. However, while the second condition is often treated in a single appointment, deep cleanings for periodontitis might be completed over multiple sessions and with the aid of a sedative.
Consider this alternative if you have noticed:
- Bleeding, red, or swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing your teeth
- Consistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Receding gums
Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning
Nearly 50% of adults in the US show signs of periodontal disease – or infections and inflammation of the gum. While there are multiple causes leading to periodontal disease, this issue often stems from bacterial infections deriving from plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line.
If you have been struggling with gum disease, the only way to remove the tartar and plaque below the gum line is to see a professional. At Worcester Quality Dental, our dentists can help you treat periodontal disease and improve your oral health as a whole, thus preventing severe issues such as tooth loss.
Gross debridement is a deep cleaning procedure often performed in preparation for a prophylaxis dental cleaning when this alone wouldn’t be enough- Usually, this treatment caters to those who have not visited the dentist in a long time and show signs of severe plaque and tartar build-up.
So, before proceeding with a standard prophylaxis dental cleaning, the dentist will remove the hardened plaque using an electric tool.
Book a Dental Cleaning at Worcester Quality Dental
Far from being only cosmetic procedures, regular dental cleaning appointments can help you prevent severe issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
Get in touch at (508) 754-0918 or visit our Worcester clinic to find the best type of dental cleaning procedure for your needs and start working towards better oral health.