Complete and comprehensive teeth and gum cleaning by a dental hygienist or dentist to thoroughly clean the surface of the teeth and remove all obvious signs of tartar deposits and most of the minute deep seated plaque to improve the appearance, quality, health and consistency of the teeth is called professional teeth cleaning.
Our saliva constantly washes the teeth and protects and disinfects it regularly and sure, this is a good thing – but, this can cause calcium deposits on the surface of teeth. This is similar in some ways to the calcification of arteries in human bodies and in mechanical terms, similar to the crusty deposits inside pipes.
The crusty deposits that can form on the teeth are not good – us dentists call them tartar. This tartar encourages bacteria buildup ad they eventually become bacteria infested chunky crusty bits that often resemble the natural color of the teeth or can also be brownish.
And yes, you guessed right – they can cause progressive decay of the enamel and even pulp. A regular professional dental cleaning regimen can arrest this.
In a clinical study conducted by ‘Dentsply International’ it was observed that plaque levels were 30% lesser when the patients went through a combined regimen of inter-dental cleaning and brushing as opposed to just brushing.
As you can see in the chart above, not only the plaque index, but even the gum health showed improvement when patients combined brushing along with inter-dental cleaning. The study results are after 14 days and involved regular inter-dental cleaning and brushing. The comprehensive oral cleaning procedure done by our dental hygienists are much more thorough than the standard cleaning done at this clinical study. As such we would like to think that the same effects may be possible with just once a month regimen of our professional dental cleaning service.
The bare minimum in our opinion is once in 6 months – but that depends on how much susceptible your teeth already are. If you have had a history of dental problems, then once in 3 months would be what we recommend and if you want to be proactive about the quality and appearance of your teeth and want to minimize risk of future dental problems, then once a month would be really good.
I think almost any dentist would agree – brushing teeth twice a day and getting a comprehensive dental cleanup done at regular intervals will decidedly lower most dental infection indexes. Add in a teeth whitening routine and you have a good dental care plan for bright and healthy teeth.
A dental practitioner uses a combination of tools and procedures to clean your teeth and provide that polish that will help even out its consistency.
This is the first procedure done and used to dislodge the bigger plaque and tartar deposits on the surface of the teeth. The ultrasonic scalar is more effective and painless compared to traditional hand scalers and is especially useful in removing stubborn stains. The ultrasonic instrument emits whistling sound waves which causes an ultrasonic impact with the tartar on the tooth causing them to dislodge and fall away. A cool mist of water is also sprayed on the teeth by the ultrasonic scaler so as to effectively wash the debris. The patient will be asked to spit this out at regular intervals.
The duration of this procedure can be quick or can take longer depending on the tartar deposits on the teeth. If the patient has a regular oral care regimen, the cleaning is usually quick. The sound of the ultrasonic instrument is mild but could sound louder to the patient when it is inside the mouth. The patient will be asked to inform about any sensitivities during the procedure and the dentist can tone down the settings as required taking into consideration both the comfort levels of the patient and the effectiveness.
Once the ultrasonic scaler has taken out the stubborn tartars and plaque deposits, it is then time for the dentist to use finer dental tools to smooth and even out the surface of the teeth. This is a manual process and the tools used have different shapes and sizes so as to enable working on different teeth at various angles. Like an artist, the dentist works on the teeth with moderate pressure to weed out smaller particles and give a smooth texture to the teeth.
Polishing and touch-up
After that, its time for that polish. A prophylaxis and polishing paste is put on a rubberized cup attached to a slow-speed dental hand-tool. The hand-tool is then grazed on the surface of the teeth, which will give it the finishing touches and shine. Finally, the dental practitioner may also apply some fluoride gel on the teeth using special trays which are placed on the teeth for a minute after which the patient can spit it out. The patient is advised not to eat or drink for about 40 minutes for best results.