Types of Teeth Cleanings
Also called Adult Phrophys by dentists and dental hygienists, this is a preventive procedure recommended to patients who do not have any gum disease. That said, reports show that 90% of the population has bleeding gums which in itself is a sign of some sort of gum disease, and yet Adult Prophys is still being administered to most people. Why? Because this is what they are used to (cleaning every 6 months) and what dental insurances are willing to pay for.
However, we believe that everyone’s own gum health is different. Some people may need more frequent cleanings, while others may not need as much.
This treatment is recommended for patients who do not have good habits in keeping their teeth clean, and as a result have developed calculus/tartar build up below their gumline, on the root surface and the pocket between gums and teeth (in general any pocket depth greater than 3mm).
Also referred to as non-surgical gum therapy or scaling and root planing (SCRP or SRP), the process involves numbing the area where the deep cleaning is needed and then using ultrasonic as well as sharp instruments to debride and disinfect the roots and gum pocket. This treatment is done in multiple visits, usually split between the right and left sides of the mouth.
Full Mouth Debridement
This type of cleaning is usually reserved for people who haven’t been to the dentist in a long time (about 6 months or more). For whatever reason, calculus/tartar build up has accumulated so much on the teeth that the gum pockets cannot be measured. When this occurs and pocket measurements are not obtained, it is therefore difficult to determine the extent of the disease and subsequent treatment plan.
A full mouth debridement, which is a “rough” cleaning”, is needed to remove the larger “chunks” of tartar so as to get a clearer understanding of what gum treatment is to be given next.
The Importance of Gum Health
All teeth cleanings should include a serious talk about home care, from brushing and flossing techniques, to the importance of completing the tasks to prevent costly dentistry in the future. Our patients love the fact that we reinforce oral hygiene instructions for both our patients and their children.
We would advise others to be cautious of those who may recommend unnecessary dental cleanings because most offices work with PPO dental insurance plans which pay for such cleanings even if they are not really warranted. Capitalism and old habits do influence some practices to push for more expensive cleanings.
Fee for cleanings are all dependent on the current condition of your gums and the severity of the case.
Frequently asked Questions
Can I schedule Just a Cleaning?
The short answer is no. If you haven’t been to our office before, then you will need to be evaluated first, with required X-rays. All dental offices as mandated by all state dental boards require dentists to have a medical record made for each patient. Even though cleanings seem harmless, the wrong cleaning for the wrong patient can lead to damaging circumstances.
Do you use fluoride?
No. Fluoride is a known toxin with a high affinity to bones, thyroid and other important organs. Even at small amounts, fluoride can cause damage to the health of an individual. Be aware that fluoride is used all over in dentistry, from the polishing paste to the dental fillings and to relieve sensitivity.