Dental Cleanings Scaling And Root Planing, Periodontal Maintenance Therapy, and Prophies

dental cleanings

“I just moved and need to find a dentist.”
“My dentist just retired and I want to find someone I like.”
“I really don’t feel like I’m being cared for or listened to very much where I am right now.”
“My teeth are stained.”

We welcome new members to our practice, and would love the opportunity to become your partner on the road to good health.

Scaling and root planing is a procedure required when there are huge deposits of calculus or tartar buildup on the teeth above, at, and/or below the gumline. For areas that are really sensitive and bleed easily, the process is done with local anesthesia so the person can remain comfortable while the work is being done. Usually this is done in two visits, although there are times it is done in one, and times it is done in four. After the gums have recovered, they are re-evaluated and the teeth are cleaned and polished with a prophy procedure, included in the process.

Periodontal maintenance therapy is done when the person has or has had active periodontal disease. When a person has periodontal disease, there are more tooth surfaces that show above the gumline and often there are more areas which have exhibited problems such as deeper periodontal pockets, deeper spaces in between the tooth and gum underneath the gumline. This type of cleaning is customized to these areas that require more care.

A prophy is usually done at 3, 4, or 6 month intervals and involves removing buildup and stain on and around all the teeth. Polishing the teeth afterwards allows for the surfaces to be as smooth as they can be and removes residual discoloration that occurs from everyday drinking and eating. Whitening procedures–naturally–are not fully effective on teeth until after surface buildup and stain are removed.

Sometimes, there is increased sensitivity after one of the above procedures is done. Usually, it is that the areas around the gumline have root surfaces exposed and no longer covered with buildup consisting of hardened plaque, bacterial waste, and the irritated biochemical reactions of the gingival cells. Because these root surfaces have microscopic pores, the nerve within the tooth can sometimes sense changes to temperature or touch. There are some remedies to make the sensation diminish should this happen. The removal of this buildup is necessary because it accelerates the rate at which the surrounding bone is lost.

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