At each dental visit, Dr. Klassen or your hygienist will evaluate the health of your gum tissue. Based upon the amount of tartar built up on your teeth and your classification of gingival health, one of the following types of professional cleanings will be recommended.
Prophylaxis or Regular Cleaning
This type of professional cleaning is recommended if you have mild to moderate gingivitis and a typical amount of tartar that builds up over the course of time in between cleanings. Your hygienist will remove any tartar from your teeth, polish your teeth with enhanced polishes that remove stain, and floss your teeth. You will also be given the option of choosing a professional fluoride treatment after the prophylaxis to help remineralize and strengthen the enamel of your teeth.
This type of professional cleaning is recommended if you have an excessive amount of tartar on your teeth that is beginning to result in advanced gingivitis, putting your gums at risk of developing periodontal disease. This type of cleaning is usually completed in two separate visits. At the initial visit, the hygienist will utilize a special instrument that vibrates and sprays water in your mouth. This will loosen the tartar on your teeth, enabling it to be easily removed. At the second visit, which is typically 4 weeks after the initial treatment, your hygienist will evaluate how your gums have responded. If they are healing and the presence of gingivitis is diminishing, she will finish the cleaning with a prophylaxis or regular cleaning. If your gums are not healing, the hygienist will proceed to talk with you about periodontal disease and deep cleanings.
Deep Cleaning or Scaling & Root Planing
A deep cleaning is indicated if you have a condition called Periodontal Disease. Periodontal Disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults over the age of 35. Periodontal Disease occurs when the bacteria in your mouth and within your tartar becomes so aggressive that it causes a loss of the tissue connecting your teeth to the bone and ginigival tissue in your mouth, and eventually a loss of bone surrounding the roots of your teeth. A deep cleaning is usually accomplished in multiple visits, sometimes even up to five visits. During this treatment, your hygienist utilizes specialized instruments to clean both the tooth surface and roots of your teeth. Some patients are more comfortable if they are numb for this procedure. Once the initial deep cleaning is completed, your hygienist and dentist will help you create a personalized cleaning schedule and plan to preserve as much gum tissue and bone as possible, ultimately preventing tooth loss from occurring.