The practice of keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy, as by regular brushing and flossing and preventive dental care. The state of one’s oral health, resulting from this practice or its neglect.
The most common type of dental cleaning, is the removal of plaque, calculus (build up/tarter) and stains from the tooth structures. This type of cleaning is typically finished with coronal polishing of the teeth. The typical prophy patient comes every six months, exhibits excellent homecare, has healthy gingival tissues, does not bleed on gentle probing, and has no pockets over 4mm.
This procedure is for patients who have completed periodontal treatment, typically scaling and root planing, and includes removal of the bacterial flora from crevicular and pocket areas (around the base of the tooth and deeper below the gum line), scaling and polishing of the teeth, periodontal evaluation (exam), and a review of the patient’s plaque control efficiency. If a patient needs perio maintenance, this means that the disease, periodontitis which is non-curable, has been and is present. Typically there is generalized bone loss, deep tissue pockets, and bleeding gum tissue is/was present. These patients are typically seen for a cleaning every 3-4 months.
Full Mouth Debridement:
The gross removal of plaque and calculus that interfere with the ability of the dentist to perform a comprehensive oral evaluation. This procedure is typically for patients who have not been to the dentist for many years and/or just has a faster calculus rate. This procedure is usually done in two appointments. The first appointment is to remove as much calculus (build up) as possible and the second appointment is more for the fine tuning and polishing.
Scaling and Root Planing:
Also called a deep cleaning, this procedure involves special dental instruments to be used on teeth and root surfaces to remove deposits. Whereas a standard prophylaxis (prophy) is preventative, scaling and root planing is therapeutic in nature as those receiving this treatment already have some form of gum disease. Root planing is the definitive procedure designed to remove plaque and calculus from these surfaces. It is indicated for patients with periodontal disease and involves the removal of the calcified deposits (calculus) contaminated with toxins or microorganisms.