“But I just want a ‘simple’ cleaning.”
What is a ‘simple’ cleaning?
A ‘simple’, or routine cleaning is for a patient that has healthy gums and does not presently have periodontal disease. A prophylaxis is a preventative treatment, which includes the removal of plaque and calculus (also know as tartar), from the tooth and gum line. At the end of this procedure your teeth are polished and flossed. Some adults need this procedure done more frequently than every six months.
What is a Full Mouth Debridement?
If you have poor home care and/or have not seen your dentist for a cleaning in a few years, they may tell you that you need more than a simple cleaning. This is called a Full Mouth Debridement. If your dentist is unable to see any part of the tooth structure, they are unable to do a thorough exam and spot decay or other concerns. Plaque, build up and calculus are removed above and below the gum line during this visit. Tenacious calculus, bleeding or flapping gums and inflammation are a few things your hygienist or Doctor may look for. Once the tartar and plaque are removed, your gums need about 4-6 weeks to heal. You then have a 2nd visit where your teeth will be scaled and polished. If your gums have not greatly improved, you may need a deeper cleaning.
When calculus and tartar sit on your teeth of under your gum, they harden like cement. Brushing and flossing will not remove these deposits and over time bacteria festers and causes infections, inflammation and infection.
Healthy gums are key to your oral health and happy smile!