Professional cleaning involves the removal of plaque and calculus. Plaque is a thin layer of film that forms on the teeth. It is comprised of bacteria from food and saliva. The bacteria in plaque, if left untreated, eats away at the enamel of the tooth and may cause tooth decay, inflammation of the gums, periodontitis (gum disease), and even tooth loss. When plaque has been left on the teeth and hardens, it becomes calculus, which forms on the teeth and gum above the gum line. Calculus can only be removed using professional dental instruments.

Professional cleanings may be done by a dentist or Registered Dental Hygienist (RDA). A Dental Assistant may also be present during your appointment. During routine cleanings, dentists do not use any invasive tools such as drills, and there is nothing to be nervous about. The treatment should only take around thirty minutes, and may include the following:

  • Scaling: Your dentist or hygienist will use a dental scaler and other hand-held instruments to gently remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. The deposits will be carefully scraped off of the teeth, and washed and suctioned away with an air-water syringe.
  • Tooth polishing: The removal of unsightly stains and plaque that was not removed during brushing or scaling. The dentist or RDA will likely use an ultrasonic instrument that moves continually in circular motions to remove the stains. This might cause a slight "tickling" sensation, but should not be uncomfortable. The air-water syringe will be used to suction away excess saliva and water. If there is a lot of plaque and tartar build-up, the polishing may take longer than normal. After the polishing, the teeth will usually have a smooth, clean feeling.
  • Root planning: Root planning may be necessary if gums have either started to
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Professional cleaning involves the removal of plaque and calculus. Plaque is a thin layer of film that forms on the teeth. It is comprated of bacteria from food and saliva. The bacteria in plaque, if left untreated, eats away at the enamel of the tooth and may cause tooth decay, inflammation of the gums, periodontitis (gum disease), and even tooth loss. When plaque has been left on the teeth and hardens, it becomes calculus, which forms on the teeth and gum above the gum line. Calculus can only be removed using professional dental instruments.

Professional cleanings may be done by a dentist or Registered Dental Hygienist (RDA). A Dental Assistant may also be present during your appointment. During routine cleanings, dentists do not use any invasive tools such as drills, and there is nothing to be nervous about. The treatment should only take around thirty minutes, and may include the following:

  • Scaling: Your dentist or hygienist will use a dental scaler and other hand-held instruments to gently remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. The deposits will be carefully scraped off of the teeth, and washed and suctioned away with an air-water syringe.
  • Tooth polishing: The removal of unsightly stains and plaque that was not removed during brushing or scaling. The dentist or RDA will likely use an ultrasonic instrument that moves continuously in circular motions to remove the stains. This may cause a slight "tickling" sensation, but should not be uncomfortable. The air-water syringe will be used to suction away excess saliva and water. If there is a lot of plaque and tartar build-up, the polishing may take longer than normal. After the polishing, the teeth will typically have a smooth, clean feeling.
  • Root planning: Root planning may be necessary if gums have either started to
Read the rest

Let's face it, visiting the dentist is rarely considered one of our most fun ways to spend an afternoon. We begin to think up reasons why the latest dentist visit needs to be skipped – maybe we are too busy this time, or we even try to save a penny here and there. If our teeth feel fine and look OK, why should we continue with regular checks? Should not we just visit the dentist when we feel pain or discomfort?

Although we may try to save money by missing checkups, modern day dentistry centers will save you even more on preventative measures. Your dentist will encourage you to perform cleaning, flossing, and cleaning at home that in fact minimize the work that he needs to do. With the increase in minimal intervention dentistry in use today, dentists take a 'hands off' approach if they can.

Even so, and with good oral hygiene at home, there are still times measures that a dentist must take in the office to fight dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease). Left unabated these problems can grow out of control and become painful and costly to remedy.

The truth is, preventive dentistry is much cheaper on the pocket in the long run. By the time your teeth become discolored, chipped, painful, or loose, your dental hygiene is usually in a sorry state. A simple cavity can be filled in the matter of minutes, but left untreated it can turn into a situation that requires an expensive root canal. It will cost you much more money and time to get this repaired in comparison to following the advice of preventive dentistry and continuing with regular checks at your dentist.

However, it's not even just about money and time. Your mouth is more than … Read the rest

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