San Antonio Veneers and Implants

Dental Cleanings

To maintain good oral hygiene, routine dental cleanings are critical. A professional cleaning performed by a dental hygienist can assist in removing mineralized plaque that develops even with extensive, careful brushing and flossing after every meal. Dental cleanings are a great way for professionals to get those hard-to-reach areas. Patients are encouraged to schedule dental cleanings and examinations every six months with Dr. Knight.

How it's done
A professional dental cleaning typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. A trained hygienist performed the cleaning procedure, though Dr. Knight may examine the smile afterward. Dental cleanings are painless and comfortable. Mild discomfort is common, which is usually indicative of a good, thorough cleaning. Mild discomfort is usually gone with 24-48 hours.

There are two important steps to a dental cleaning. Assuming that the patient does not have periodontal disease which requires an entirely different type of deeper scaling and root planing. The first step is scaling the teeth, whereby the hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces above the "gum-line". This can be performed by hand or with electric scalers depending on the hygienist's preference.Typically, the hygienist will also remove plaque SLIGHTLY subgingival. If the subgingival depth is excessive (i.e. a pocket over 4mm deep), a Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning with anesthetic) is indicated.

The second step is polishing to remove any final plaque and buff the teeth. Polishers generally have several different sized heads to clean hard to reach places.
 
If the patient presents with an excessive amount of tartar between the teeth that hinder the dentist from being able to diagnose decay, a debridement procedure is indicated to break up the calculus. This is done at one appointment, then a separate appointment is needed to scale and polish the teeth 3-5 days later. This allows excessive gingival inflamation to subside so that a proper examination of the teeth can be done.