Everything you need to know about Dental Cleaning and Prophylaxis
After your Dentist finishes your Oral Exam, they or the Hygienist will begin your Dental Cleaning (Also known as a Prophylaxis) which is a Dental Procedure intended to remove calculus buildup and polish your teeth. The Dental Cleaning procedure is two fold. The first step is a minor scaling. This can be done with special dental tools called Scalers or with a machines called an Ultrasonic Scaler. The hand scalers were always the standard of care for many years, but with new technology emerging each day, many Dentists prefer to use the Ultrasonic Scaler as it is quicker and often more effective. The second step in the procedure is to Polish your teeth. The Dentist or Hygienist will use a special Dental Handpiece fitted with a disposable polishing disk and flavored course grit polishing paste to polish your teeth to a healthy shine and to remove any minor topical stains. Polishing your teeth will also smooth out the tooth surfaces to make it more difficult for bacteria to latch on and accumulate.
Step 1 - Scaling
(Removes Dental Plaque and Tarter Buildup to Prevent Gum Disease)
Step 2 - Polishing
(Smoothing out Tooth Surfaces to Prevent Bacteria Accumulation)
What to expect during the procedure
Many patients have a fear of the dentist because they instantly assume “pain” when thinking about dentistry. In reality, the assumed pain is more mental than physical.
A Dental Cleaning or Prophylaxis is one of the most important procedures in all of Dentistry. You may often hear our staff refer to this procedure as your 'Recall Appointment' as these procedures must be done every 4-6 months depending on each persons overall oral health. By leaping up with these appointments you will be able to maintain great oral hygiene and overall health. During this visit, you may feel some slight sensitivity during the scaling stage. This is normal and with proper hygiene appointments this pain or sensitivity will decreased as your gums will become accustomed to getting cleaned and having calculus buildup removed. If cleaning appointments are regularly kept (Every 4-6 months) then far less calculus will build up and the procedure will be virtually pain free.