Types of Dental Cleaning & Maintenance

October 21, 2019

You’ve been perfecting your morning and nightly routine of brushing your teeth since you were a child, but is that all you need to do to ensure a healthy mouth? The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once a day. In addition, it is recommended that people who have overall good oral health schedule an annual comprehensive dental exam and cleaning.

During a comprehensive exam, your dentist will check your overall dental health.

Although most people think of dental cleaning as a single universal procedure there are actually three types of dental cleaning. Each type of cleaning is specific to the patient’s oral health. 

Prophylaxis Cleaning

A prophylaxis cleaning is the cleaning that most people think of when they think of a dental cleaning procedure. 

This type of cleaning is a preventative procedure for patients that it is determined that have good oral health. Good oral health means that the patient does not have any oral diseases such as periodontal disease or gingivitis. 

During prophylaxis dental cleanings, the dentist or dental hygienist will remove calculus, plaque, and common stains.  Calculus or tartar is hardened dental plaque that cannot be removed by brushing. Plaque is the biofilm that builds up on the surfaces within your mouth. 

The recommended frequency of prophylaxis dental cleanings depends on your overall health. Smokers, those diagnosed with diabetes or other conditions that affect dental health should schedule dental cleanings more frequently. 

Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to advise you on the best routine for your health. 

Deep Periodontal Cleaning

As the name suggest a deep periodontal cleaning is for patients that have been diagnosed with periodontal disease or periodontitis. 

Periodontitis is a gum disease that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. 

Symptoms of periodontitis include: 

  • Swollen gums
  • Bright red or purplish gums
  • Tender gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Receding gums that make your teeth look longer than normal
  • Pockets or spaces between your teeth
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

Periodontitis is primarily caused by poor dental care and plaque build-up. 

Periodontitis can cause bone and tooth loss. Research suggests that the bacteria responsible for periodontitis can enter your bloodstream through gum tissue.  If this occurs it can possibly affect your heart, lungs and other parts of your body.

Deep periodontal cleaning involves scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure for treating periodontal disease or periodontitis.

Unlike prophylaxis cleaning, a deep cleaning may take more than one appointment to be completed. During the procedure, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove tartar and plaque from beneath your gums. In order to keep bacteria from adhering to the bone beneath your gums, the dentist or hygienist will then smooth the surface of the tooth. 

Patients that have been diagnosed with periodontal disease or periodontitis should have schedule dental cleaning as frequently as every 3 months. 

No matter what type of cleaning you need or how frequently you need a cleaning, Shade Creek Dental will provide you with the best care possible.