Are dental cleanings necessary?
Regular appointments with your hygienist is as important as a regular check-up with the dentist. A committed home care routine of brushing and flossing is great to have, but it can only go so far in supporting the overall health and good maintenance of your teeth and gums. Invariably there will be small hard to reach areas that are not getting all of the attention they need. If these spots are not caught in time, there is a risk they will develop into a cavity, or allow infection to set in.
How often should you have a dental cleaning?
We recommend you have a dental cleaning every six months. This is a good timeframe in which to identify changes in the mouth and teeth. Your dental hygienist will monitor your oral health, tracking any variations or areas of concern.
How long does a dental cleaning take?
The dental cleaning process itself usually takes around 30 minutes, but can sometimes take longer if you require alternative therapies. Appointments generally last no longer than an hour.
What happens during a dental cleaning?
Before the hygienist commences with cleaning your teeth, they will first check all of the soft and hard oral tissue in and outside of the mouth. Checking your gums, lips, cheeks and jaw for any signs of oral cancer or disease is imperative, to monitor healthy tissue, and ensure that any unexplained changes are investigated and treated in their infancy.
Your hygienist will check the gum line to ensure your gums and teeth are working symbiotically, to support a firm, stable foundation. They will ensure there are no signs of early stages of periodontal, or gum disease.
Any tartar or calculus build-up around the teeth is scraped away, to ensure the gums can properly grip and hold teeth, without impediment from plaque build-up. Even the healthiest patients with best cleaning and flossing practices can develop small build-ups of tartar in hard to reach areas. It is important to check every area of the gum-line to ensure no teeth are susceptible to the onset of decay or infection.
The hygienist will polish teeth with a gentile abrasive cleanser, removing any surface stains and discoloration from food and beverages, leaving your teeth sleek, shiny and even a bit brighter than when you arrived.
Is teeth cleaning painful?
Unless a patient has particularly sensitive teeth, an oral condition or periodontal disease causing pain or discomfort, a dental cleaning is usually a straightforward and non-invasive procedure. If you have any reservations, or anxiety about what you might experience during the process, talk to your dentist or hygienist ahead of your scheduled appointment. We offer many options for relaxation, and pain relief. No aspect of your regular dental cleanings should be a cause of fear or dread. We want you to feel completely at ease while undergoing your routine dental cleanings, which are simply timely maintenance checks, ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy, and supporting your oral health and overall health as a whole.
What happens if I don’t have a dental cleaning?
Cleaning at home, and flossing, plays a vital role in our overall dental health, though there are some accumulations of plaque that develop into hardened tartar and calculus, which everyday cleaning cannot remove.
This build-up around the teeth and under the gum-line is almost invisible to the naked, untrained eye, but over time, can cause serious problems for teeth and gums; potentially leading to decay, infection, and even tooth loss.
Failure to eliminate build-up created by debris, missed by everyday brushing, can start as redness, sensitivity, and bleeding, developing into loose and painful teeth. Diseases of the gum, left untreated, can quickly escalate into more serious, painful, and costly conditions to treat.
How much does a dental cleaning cost?
If you have dental insurance, a twice yearly general cleaning will most likely be covered by your plan. For patients paying out-of-pocket, the cost can range between$99-$350. It’s worth bearing in mind that a teeth cleaning is a preventative procedure, and an investment in the health of your teeth and mouth in their entirety.
Having minor issues resolved before they have the chance to develop into a more serious problem, gives patients a sense of confidence, and the knowledge that there are unlikely to be surprises in store in terms of a tooth pain flaring up out of nowhere.
Patients without insurance are recommended to schedule a teeth cleaning and overall dental check up. This will determine if there are areas for concern, and what plan the patient should put in place to address any imminent problems.
What is a dental prophylaxis?
A dental prophylaxis is a general cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean your teeth at and above the gum-line. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease.
The benefits include:
Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from in between and around teeth. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce the chance of infection.
Our highly skilled hygienists perform prophylaxis in our office daily. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for those with periodontal issues. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is just one of the tools that we can use to effectively halt its progression.
Don’t let a lack of insurance leave you at risk. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get your dental care back on track.