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Dental Cleaning: Why Are There So Many Different Names For It?

Posted by braydondentalcare on October 18, 2017 under Dental Health

At Braydon Dental Care, we encourage our patients to book their oral hygiene appointments on a regular basis. A dental cleaning, or dental prophylaxis, is a preventive procedure performed by Registered Dental Hygienists where they monitor, examine and review any dental concerns. The procedure mainly involves the cleaning and polishing of the teeth.

But depending on the patient’s needs, different procedures and terminology may be required for their oral hygiene care.

The most basic procedure for oral hygiene care is called a Routine Cleaning. This procedure involves the removal of calculus build-up, review of at-home oral hygiene techniques, and may require the need of diagnostic x-rays to see certain areas of concern.

Another term we use is called Prophylaxis. This procedure takes place when the teeth, gums, supporting bones are in good health. If a patient does not exhibit any gum disease and remains in good dental health with acceptable oral hygiene regimen at home, this procedure can be completed in one appointment. A prophylaxis appointment is recommended to be scheduled every four to six months.

On the other hand, if a patient exhibits gum (periodontal) disease, another type of hygiene procedure. Typically, periodontal disease is caused by the lack of adequate oral hygiene techniques at home, and also may be due to a lack of prophylaxis procedures throughout the years. The treatment required, in this case, is not considered preventive. There are two types of procedures recommended for patients with periodontal disease, both dependent on the state of the periodontal disease that exists.

Periodontal Debridement is recommended for a patient when their gums are not firm and/or not pink, or if there is excessive buildup of plaque. Periodontal debridement requires two visits. At the first visit, the plaque is removed. At the second visit, a fine scale is performed and this allows the Registered Dental Hygienist to check the response of the gum tissue, and also polish the teeth.

If the state of the disease is more advanced where the gums and bone also exhibit periodontal disease, a non-surgical intervention called Root Plane and Scale is required. This procedure alleviates the need for more extensive periodontal surgery later on in the patient’s life. During this procedure, a local anesthetic is provided to the patient to allow the Registered Dental Hygienist to thoroughly clean under the gum line while also cleaning tooth structure above the gum line. It could be required in just 1 quadrant or all 4; again, it is dependent on the needs of each patient. The gum tissue is then monitored every two to four months to ensure improvement in the patient’s oral health. After periodontal therapy, patients returning for hygiene follow-up visits are scheduled for periodontal prophylaxis.

Have any questions particular to your dental hygiene appointment? Feel free to ask! At Braydon Dental Care, we are here to meet your needs catered uniquely to you.

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