A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. In our office we usually allow 45 to 60 minutes for our hygienist to perform a thorough dental cleaning. Cleanings should be performed at least every six months to prevent excessive calculus (tartar) buildup. Calculus deposits, left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums, facilitate tooth decay and may lead to destructive disease (periodontal disease). A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planning and polishing.
Scaling: This is the process of removing calculus and plaque (soft bacterial film) from all tooth surfaces by a variety of methods, depending on the amount and the location of the calculus.
Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has lead to more modern methods such as ultrasonic scalers and electric scalers. These sophisticated tools allow dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, these devices and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.