While regular brushing and flossing would keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, regular dental checkups are considered essential for healthy teeth and gums in the long run. Regular visits to the dentist would also enable you to get rid of ‘hard to remove’ plaque and bacteria deposits from teeth and gums, and help clean areas that are otherwise hard to access while brushing or flossing.
Another added advantage of regular dental cleaning appointments is that they would provide your dentist with ample opportunities to spot impending dental problems and recommend better oral care practices for healthier results. Therefore, it is considered wise to opt for a dental cleaning appointment at least once in every 6 months. And if you are curious as to what exactly happens in these cleaning procedures, here’s a useful insight into the same.
Tools Used for Dental Teeth Cleaning Procedures
Almost every other dental teeth cleaning procedure would employ one or more of the dental tools mentioned below. The specific tool used would depend on which procedure you opt for and the severity of the situation (how dirty your teeth and gums are).
This dental instrument resembles a metal hook and is used to remove food particles, debris, stains, bacteria and other unwanted impurities from the teeth surface.
The instrument can also be used to remove tartar and plaque from the gaps between teeth. It usually does not cause any harm or pain, but can be uncomfortable for people with sensitive teeth.
An alternative to the periodontal scaler, the dental pick is often used by dentists to remove particles and impurities that are tightly wedged in between the teeth.
Almost every dentist would employ dental mirrors during dental teeth cleaning procedures to inspect areas at the back of the mouth for impurities, infection or cavities. These mirrors would reflect the images of the teeth in such a way that it would be easy for the dentist to spot issues that would otherwise not be visible.
A dental polisher is a rotating instrument that helps to remove miniscule amounts of plaque from the teeth surface.
The instrument usually comes with heads of different sizes for different areas of the mouth and helps to buff teeth without causing any issues to the gums or mucous membranes lining the mouth.
In most cases, a dentist would employ an instrument that would shoot water into the mouth. This would be done at regular intervals in between the cleaning process so that the person can spit out the plaque and impurities.
Steps Involved in Dental Teeth Cleaning Procedures
A regular dental teeth cleaning procedure would normally include the following steps in order.
The first step of a dental teeth cleaning procedure would usually be scaling wherein either hand or ultrasonic instruments are used to remove tartar, plaque and bacteria deposits from the teeth. While the hand instruments would contain curved tips of different sizes to scrap away the deposits, the ultrasonic instruments would come with metal tips that would chip away the deposits with the help of constant vibrations.
A water sprayer would need to be used to cool down the metal tips in this case. And while the ultrasonic instruments can effectively remove large deposits of tartar and plaque from the teeth, the hand instruments are preferred when it comes to cleaning the areas of the teeth just below the gum line.
A root planing is often carried out when the dentist discovers the accumulation of plaque in the pockets of the gums, usually below the gum line. A scaling instrument would be used to scoop out the plaque from the pockets without harming the gums in the process.
In certain cases, the individual would have to be anesthetized in order to remove plaque deposits deep within the gum line. A laser beam would also be used in cases where the plaque is too far below the gum line to be removed using standard hand tools.
After scaling and root planing, the dentist would use a hand instrument to polish the teeth so that they look smooth and shiny. The hand instrument used for the procedure would work at a low speed and would contain a rubber cap onto which a small amount of paste is applied before polishing.
When activated, the hand instrument (and the cap) would start to spin slowly, rubbing the teeth with the paste in the process. Once the polish is applied to the teeth, the individual in question would need to rinse out the excess paste.
A fluoride treatment helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. The procedure involves placing a sizeable amount of fluoride gel (usually a flavored variety) in a Styrofoam tray and then inserting the tray into the mouth. The fluoride gel covers the teeth and the tray is placed in the mouth for about a minute.
During this period, a suction device would be used to remove excess fluoride and saliva from the mouth. As and when the tray is removed, the fluoride gel is suctioned away as well. Following treatment, the individual would need to refrain from eating or drinking anything for about half an hour in order for the fluoride to act effectively.
Other Important Facts about Dental Teeth Cleaning Procedures
Here are some essential facts that you need to know about dental teeth cleaning procedures before you opt for them.
Requiring Pain Medication
Although a routine dental teeth cleaning appointment would not require anesthesia, the dentist would opt for pain medication in case the patient is very nervous. Different types of pain medication include local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas that would help the patient relax), or sleep dentistry (the individual can literally sleep through the entire procedure with the help of medication).
Existing Health Related Ailments Vs. Dental Teeth Cleaning
In certain cases, individuals with a known history of health conditions would need to talk about a dental teeth cleaning procedure with their dentist beforehand. Individuals with heart defects, disorders or diseases are highly vulnerable to a condition called bacterial endocarditis that could arise from a routine dental teeth cleaning procedure.