What is involved in a dental cleaning?
Dental cleaning is a regular service that we provide that involves professional cleaning of teeth through scaling and polishing. Scaling is the process of removing tartar that is strongly bonded to teeth and is difficult to remove by brushing alone. This tartar can be scaled off by hand instruments or by a machine called a Cavitron. Cavitrons remove larger tartar deposits by gentle ultrasonic action with a fine water spray. The ultrasonic treatment works by gently vibrating the tartar, causing it to break free and allowing it to be removed. Typically, after ultrasonic treatment your hygienist will remove the smaller pieces of tartar with fine hand instruments. Polishing is the service usually carried out after scaling is complete, and the hard tarter is all removed. Here, using a special polishing paste, the teeth are polished with a rotary polishing rubber brush. Polish removes the last layer of film and stain on the tooth enamel.
After professional scaling and polishing the teeth are not only clean, but visibly whiter. This basic scaling and polishing treatment is for patients without gum disease or patients with mild to moderate gum disease. For moderate gum disease, laser gum treatment is often used to help improve the condition. For advanced gum disease, possible referral to a specialist may be necessary for surgical intervention.
After a dental cleaning appointment, fluoride treatment is often recommended. This involves simply bathing your teeth with one of many flavoured fluoride treatments. Your hygienist will give you some options to choose from, and many patients find that this is their favourite part of their appointment. Fluoride treatment helps to strengthen the teeth enamel and it is best to avoid all food and drinks for thirty minutes following your appointment.
Is cleaning going to hurt?
Most patients find that their cleaning appointments are painless. However, every patient is unique and will have different sensitivities. Our hygienists are trained to adjust their technique to ensure every patient is comfortable during their appointment. Dental cleaning appointments often involve an array of minor sensations, from minor vibrations and pressure to cooling mists of water. You can be sure that we will do everything we can to make sure your comfort comes first. For extra sensitive patients we can also give topical gel anesthetic to help make your experience more comfortable. For patients with severe anxiety we can even arrange general anesthesia (dentistry while asleep) for cleanings.