At Complete Health Dentistry of Portland, we offer dental cleanings as part of your oral health routine. These routine checkups at customized intervals specific to maintaining your best health are essential in keeping optimal oral health, as well as overall health.
WHY DO I NEED DENTAL CLEANINGS?
Dental cleanings (or hygiene wellness care as we like to say) remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky biofilm colony of bacteria that live in all of our mouths and loves to grow on our teeth. As these colonies continue to stay on our teeth and mature, minerals from our saliva become incorporated into the plaque biofilm and harden much like a coral reef forms. Once it hardens it is very difficult to remove without professional help. If ignored, tartar will continue to grow and hold more bacteria against your teeth and gums. Our bodies do not like bacteria and our gums erode away, causing bad breath, gum disease, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, ALLOW BACTERIA TO GET INTO OUR BLOODSTREAM! Even with your best efforts, you will still accumulate some tartar buildup, which is why dental cleanings are essential for every patient.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A DENTAL CLEANING
When your gums are healthy, the dental hygienist will document the state of your oral health, making note of any changes in your teeth or gums. Sometimes, digital radiographs (x-rays) are a necessary part of this step. Then, the hygienist will gently remove the tartar buildup, polish only the areas of your teeth showing stains you want to remove, and then finish by flossing them. If your gums are not healthy and suffer from periodontal disease, we will recommend additional therapy.
We also screen blood pressure and for oral cancer on every patient during these routine exams. This preventive step could save your life!
WHAT IS A DENTAL DEEP CLEANING, AND DO I NEED ONE?
Patients with deep pockets in their gums will need a dental deep cleaning. The hygienist will measure the depth of the gum cuff or pocket around each tooth as well as evaluate for inflammation. Any areas revealing inflammation such as bleeding, pus, or worse will require extra attention.
The purpose of a dental deep cleaning is to stop the progression of gum disease or periodontal disease. As bacteria and tartar collect under the gums, these areas must be thoroughly disinfected which includes using the latest techniques.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REGULAR CLEANING AND A DEEP CLEANING?
The biggest difference between a regular dental cleaning and a deep cleaning is that the hygienist cleans further to ensure there is no tartar buildup left under the gums. Some patients who receive a dental deep cleaning may benefit from an antibiotic application to help further treat their gum disease. Our hygienists at Complete Health Dentistry utilize the newest technology with an ultrasonic cleaner that reduces the bacterial load, thus reducing infection.