A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning that you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take only between 25 and 35 minutes and should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing, and polishing.
What is a Dental Cleaning?
- Scaling: This is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces. Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand; however, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers, which allow cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time.
- Root Planing: This is the process of cleaning pockets in the gums to treat and prevent gum problems. Root planing involves inserting a pointed dental tool (called a scaler) into the gum pockets to clean plaque buildup.
- Polishing: This is the last step in tooth cleaning and involves finishing the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean.
There are two types of polishing:
Air Polishing works by spraying high pressured water mixed with baking soda paste onto the surfaces of your teeth. This washes away residue and plaque while removing stains.
Rubber Tip Polishing polishes using a low speed and gentle handpiece that contains a polishing paste made of abrasive ingredients ideal for removing stains.