Teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis (literally a preventative treatment of a disease), is a gentle procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing. Oral problems can arise especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine tooth brushing. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. Dr Lin will determine how often you should have a cleaning done and is usually related to how well you do at home. Don’t forget to floss and brush daily!!!
The goal of periodontal maintenance is to prevent the recurrence of periodontal disease and to maintain the optimal level of oral health. The maintenance phase has long been established as the foundation of successful periodontal therapy.
What can you expect during your maintenance appointment?
- An update of your medical and dental health history. Special interest is given to any oral health issues that may become established from a systemic medical condition.
- A thorough oral and facial examination is completed.
- A complete periodontal examination. At these appointments, your pocket depths will be checked to make sure they are healthy. In addition, a review of your current radiographs (X-rays) will be completed to detect any areas of bone loss, decay, or irregularities.
- Oral hygiene review. A thorough overview of your oral homecare routine to identify areas of the mouth that are overlooked, and possible changes in your technique, will be discussed. Special oral hygiene aids that can help you achieve optimal oral health will be recommended.
- Periodontal maintenance periodontal cleanings), including scaling, root planing, and polishing, and any other procedures, will occur, depending on your clinical indications. Plaque and calculus (tarter) that are present will be treated and removed above and below the gum line.
Current dental research indicates that maintenance therapy, in conjunction with proper home care, is a key factor in treatment success and maintenance of dental health.
Scaling and Root Planing
The goal of scaling and root planing (sometimes referred to as deep cleaning) is to remove the etiologic agents (dental plaque and calculus) that cause inflammation to the gingival (gum) tissue and surrounding bone. Periodontal scaling and root planing have long been established as effective treatments for people who suffer from various forms of periodontal disease.
There is some confusion about how a scaling and root planing differs from a regular dental cleaning. This is a non-surgical periodontal treatment that thoroughly cleans the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from deep periodontal pockets, and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins.
This is followed by adjunctive therapy, such as local delivery of antimicrobials and host modulation therapy. The need for adjunctive therapy is tailored to the patient’s individual needs.
Goals of scaling and root planing
- Direct removal of bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar)
- Direct removal of pathogenic bacteria; scaling and root planing results in a significant reduction of the bacteria associated with periodontal disease, and encourages the repopulation of the “good” bacteria associated with health
- Reduction in the need for the body’s immune response to fight off infection, thereby decreasing the inflammatory cells responsible for tissue and bone damage observed in gingivitis and periodontitis
- Decrease in gingival inflammation
- Reattachment of gingival tissue to the tooth after root planning, which results in reducing pocket depth.
To sustain periodontal health, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy. The goal of maintenance therapy is to prevent the reappearance and advance of periodontal disease.