Achieve Excellent Oral Health With Regular Dental Cleanings
Did you know that professional dental cleanings are essential for maintaining a healthy and radiant smile? Our Fort Wayne dentist will delve into the importance of teeth cleanings, the benefits they offer, the cleaning process, and how to prepare for your appointment.
By understanding the significance of dental cleanings and how to properly care for your teeth, you can ensure a lifetime of optimal oral health and beautiful smiles.
The Importance of Routine Dental Cleanings
Dental cleanings are paramount for oral health and involve the removal of plaque and tartar to avoid the development of cavities and gum disease. While practicing good oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing is essential, these efforts alone are not sufficient enough to completely remove tartar and plaque from teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends receiving routine dental cleanings at least once every six months. Attending professional cleanings ensures that plaque and tartar buildup is effectively removed from the gum line and teeth surfaces, allowing you to achieve excellent oral health.
Benefits of Dental Cleanings
Dental cleanings offer numerous benefits that contribute to a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious oral health issues. Regular teeth cleanings help maintain great gum health and help you avoid the buildup of access plaque and tartar.
Plaque and tartar buildup is the main cause of gum disease, and without regular cleanings, the higher risk you are of developing periodontal disease.
Maintaining a Bright Smile
Professional cleanings not only contribute to better oral health but also helps you achieve and maintain a dazzling smile. During the teeth cleaning process, surface stains on your teeth are removed, and the teeth are polished with gritty toothpaste. As a result, your teeth appear brighter, allowing you to confidently flash your pearly whites.
Early Detection of Oral Issues
Professional teeth cleanings play a crucial role in the early detection of oral issues such as gum disease and oral cancer. During cleaning appointments, X-rays and dental exams can reveal any underlying issues that may not be perceptible during a visual examination.
Early detection allows for timely intervention and treatment, helping to prevent more severe oral health problems.
The Dental Cleaning Process
Examination and Assessment
The first stage of the teeth cleaning process is the examination and assessment, in which the dentist and dental hygienist evaluate your oral cavity and associated facial and cervical regions.
This physical exam includes taking your vital signs, reviewing your medical and dental history, conducting an oral cancer screening, and examining your head, neck, teeth, and gums. X-rays may also be taken to detect any abnormalities that require treatment or referral to a specialist.
Routine dental exams are crucial for identifying potential oral health issues, as individuals may have periodontal disease without any symptoms of pain, and therefore patients may not be aware of the infection. Early detection and intervention can help prevent more severe dental problems and maintain your overall oral health.
Scaling and Polishing
Scaling and polishing are the next steps in the teeth cleaning process. Scaling is the process of cleaning teeth surfaces. It involves removing soft (plaque) and hard (calculus or tartar) deposits from your teeth, above and around the gumline. This helps prevent periodontal disease and maintain overall oral health.
Polishing, on the other hand, entails the removal of residual plaque and stains on teeth with an abrasive paste. The polishing process helps eliminate any remaining stains or plaque, giving your teeth a smooth and shiny appearance.
Together, scaling and polishing ensure that your teeth are thoroughly cleaned, contributing to a healthy and vibrant smile.
The final stage of the dental cleaning process is the fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to strengthen enamel and reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. During the fluoride treatment, your dentist or dental hygienist applies a fluoride gel or varnish to your teeth, providing a protective barrier that can help prevent cavities for several months.
Types of Dental Cleanings: Routine vs. Deep Cleaning
Dental cleanings can be classified into two main types: routine dental cleanings and deep dental cleanings.
Routine Dental Cleanings
A routine dental cleaning, also known as a prophylaxis cleaning, involves the removal of plaque and calculus from your teeth and around your gumline. This type of cleaning is essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing periodontal disease. It’s generally advised to receive routine dental cleanings every six months, depending on your oral health and risk factors.
Although you may experience some sensitivity after a routine dental cleaning, the procedure shouldn’t require the use of a local anesthetic or provide severe pain or discomfort.
Deep Dental Cleaning
A deep dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing or periodontal therapy, is an extensive and effective treatment for periodontal disease. This type of cleaning is recommended for patients with periodontal disease. By addressing periodontal disease before it progresses, deep dental cleanings can help prevent tooth loss.
Deep dental cleanings are more involved than routine dental cleanings and may require the use of a local anesthetic to alleviate pain during the procedure. While deep teeth cleanings can be more costly than routine cleanings, they’re essential for treating gum disease.
Cost and Insurance Coverage for Dental Cleanings
The cost of dental cleanings can vary depending on factors such as location, age, and additional procedures needed, such as dental X-rays. Fortunately, dental insurance typically covers routine preventive dental care, including dental cleanings.
Average Cost of Dental Cleanings
Without insurance, the cost of a routine dental cleaning in Fort Wayne, IN could range from $75 to $200, with an average cost of approximately $125. The cost may differ depending on the location and the qualifications of the dental professional.
Dental Insurance Coverage
Most dental insurance plans provide coverage for two routine teeth cleanings per year at 100%. Additionally, basic treatments such as periodontal treatment are typically covered by dental insurance at a rate of 60% to 80%, depending on whether your dentist is in or out of your insurance network.
Health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible savings accounts (FSAs) can also be used to cover the cost of additional dental cleanings and preventive work, making dental care more accessible and affordable. Some dental offices may also offer third-party financing to help ease the upfront costs of dental work.
Preparing for Your Dental Cleaning Appointment
Proper preparation for your dental cleaning appointment not only helps ensure a smooth and efficient visit but can also help alleviate any dental anxiety you may have.
Pre-Appointment Dental Hygiene
Practicing good dental hygiene before your cleaning is essential. Brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once daily, and utilizing mouthwash can help maintain a clean and healthy mouth before your dental visit.
Additionally, it’s advised to abstain from consuming foods with strong odors and from smoking before the appointment. By following these recommendations, you can ensure that your dental cleaning appointment is as comfortable and effective as possible.
Addressing Dental Anxiety
If you experience dental anxiety, discuss your concerns with your dentist and dental hygienist before your appointment. They can provide you with helpful tips and strategies to deal with any anxiety you may have and ensure a more comfortable experience during your cleaning appointment.
Some methods for addressing dental anxiety include communicating your fears with your dental team, finding a dental practice that caters to dental phobics, and using distraction techniques such as listening to music or watching television during the procedure.
Post-Cleaning Care and Maintenance
After your dental cleaning, it’s essential to continue practicing good oral hygiene and scheduling regular dental visits to maintain optimal oral health.
At-Home Oral Hygiene Practices
Maintaining good oral hygiene at home is crucial for preventing dental issues and preserving your oral health between professional cleanings. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and using a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.
Flossing daily between your teeth is essential to remove dental plaque and prevent periodontal disease. To floss properly, wrap the floss around your middle fingers and gently slide it between your teeth, curving the floss around the base of each tooth and moving it up and down.
Additionally, using mouthwash after brushing and flossing can help remove any remaining food particles and freshen your breath.
Scheduling Regular Dental Visits
Regular dental visits are of paramount importance for maintaining optimal oral health and preventing dental issues. To ensure that you schedule regular dental visits, set reminders on your phone or calendar, or ask your dentist to send you a reminder. Remember, maintaining your at-home oral hygiene routine and attending regular appointments are crucial for a healthy and beautiful smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
During regular dental cleanings, a dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar (calculus) from the tooth surfaces on or above the gum line. They’ll use various tools to clean your teeth, including a dental scraper and a high-powered electric brush. Your teeth will be flossed and in some cases, a fluoride treatment will be applied.
Your dentist will also perform a dental exam to check for any signs of dental problems.
Teeth cleaning should not be painful; however, some patients may experience discomfort due to sensitivity in their gums and teeth. Complicating factors such as inflammation or decay can add to the pain, so it’s important to communicate any concerns with your dentist before the cleaning begins.
Achieve a Sparkly, Healthy Smile at Union Chapel Dentistry
By understanding the importance of professional cleanings, the benefits they offer, the dental cleaning process, and how to prepare for your appointment, you can ensure a lifetime of excellent oral health. Remember, a clean and healthy mouth contributes to a beautiful smile and overall well-being.
To schedule your dental cleaning appointment with our Fort Wayne dentist, call our office today at (260) 232-0280, or get in touch by using our online contact form.