What is a dental cleaning?
Dental cleaning is general dentistry or preventative dentistry procedure wherein the accumulated plaque and tartar are removed from your teeth and gums. The dentist uses a scaling device to remove months of accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth, gum line, and the deepest recesses of your teeth. They also provide fluoride treatments to kill all the harmful bacteria, restoring your oral health. Patients need dental cleanings once every six months to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other serious dental problems.
What happens during professional teeth cleaning?
Step 1: Dental Checkup
The dentist or dental hygienist examines your teeth, gums, and oral cavities to look for signs of gum disease, cavities, and other dental problems. If you have signs of cavities or gum disease, they may need to run additional tests and treat the underlying problems. As such, dental professionals perform basic oral checkups as a part of the dental cleaning.
Step 2: Plaque & Tartar Removal
Plaque is a whitish substance that collects on your teeth if some food particles are left behind in your teeth and gums. Over time, the plaque hardens into a yellow substance called tartar, which can’t be removed using regular brushing and flossing techniques. Dental cleaning is necessary to remove the accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line. Dental professionals use scalers to scrape away all the hardened plaque and tartar from the deepest recesses of your teeth.
Step 3: Brushing with Gritty Toothpaste
After removing the plaque and tartar, the dentist polishes your teeth using gritty toothpaste and a high-powered electric toothbrush. You may hear a whirring sound as the toothbrush polishes your teeth, which also removes all the remaining traces of plaque and tartar. However, you should only polish your teeth twice a year because doing so regularly may make the enamel wear off. Polishing your teeth also smoothens the surface, reducing the risk of bacterial colonization.
Step 4: Professional Flossing
The dental professional will floss your teeth using expert techniques to remove all the remaining traces of food particles and plaque. They’ll also explain how you can floss your teeth using the best techniques to avoid plaque accumulation.
Step 5: Antibacterial Rinsing
The dental professional will ask you to rinse your mouth using an antibacterial or fluoride mouthwash. This will clear away all the debris from your mouth.
Step 6: Fluoride Treatment
The dental professional will apply a fluoride gel to your teeth and ask you to wear a mouthpiece. The device hardens the fluoride varnish over your teeth, thereby preventing bacterial decay for several months. This is the last step in professional dental cleaning.
Are dental cleanings really necessary?
Yes, dental cleanings are absolutely necessary, and everyone should go for at least two dental cleanings per year. Dental cleanings are necessary because they prevent plaque and tartar accumulation, which, in turn, prevents cavities. If you don’t go for regular dental cleanings, the plaque and tartar will continue accumulating in your teeth — regardless of your oral hygiene habits. The acids from foods and bacteria will combine with the plaque and tartar to erode the enamel, leading to cavities necessitating dental fillings.
However, dental cavities only affect the external enamel of your teeth, so you don’t experience any pain or discomfort. If you go for regular dental cleanings, the dental professional would identify and fill the cavity instantly. But if you don’t go for regular cleanings, the cavity will continue spreading and growing larger until it reaches the underlying pulp chamber. The bacteria will infect the pulp tissues, thereby leading to inflammation and infections. At this point, you’ll need a root canal to protect your teeth from complete decay.
Regular dental cleanings prevent plaque and tartar accumulation, and they allow you to fill cavities at the earliest stages (or avoid them altogether.) This, in turn, minimizes the need for more complex dental treatments later.
What will my dentist look for at my dental cleaning appointment?
During your dental cleaning appointment, the dentist will examine your oral health, gums, and teeth. They’ll look for signs of cavities, such as small fissures or holes in your teeth. They’ll also look for signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, receding gums, etc. Based on their evaluation, they’ll curate the ideal treatment for you.
What is the average cost of teeth cleaning?
The cost of teeth cleaning depends on numerous factors, including the dental clinic’s location and your specific oral health. The teeth cleaning often has to be combined with other treatments, making their specific cost hard to pin down. The dentist will have to examine your teeth and provide a quote for your specific needs. However, you can rest assured that you’ll receive a detailed breakdown of the treatment costs in advance.
Does my insurance cover dental cleanings?
Most dental insurances cover at least two dental cleanings per year. As such, if you have dental insurance, you can avail of regular dental cleanings and check-ups at no additional cost. Furthermore, regular dental cleanings allow you to avoid far more complex treatments, thereby minimizing future medical costs. If you don’t have dental insurance, you can talk to your dentist about other alternatives to reduce the treatment cost.
Schedule your dental cleaning appointment today.
URBN Dental is one of the most reliable dental clinics for dental cleaning in Uptown and Midtown Houston, TX. Our Midtown Houston dental clinic is located in Houston’s most thriving cultural and artistic neighborhoods between Downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center. Our Uptown Houston dental clinic is located between River Oaks District and Highland Village. For more information, please schedule your dental cleaning appointment today.