The health of your gums determines the frequency and type of cleaning that you need. After a thorough evaluation, we will help you customize a plan for your oral health.
Dental Prophylaxis (prophy)
Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist are the basis for maintaining a healthy mouth. Removing the plaque and calculus, or tartar, is imperative for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. A regular cleaning, or dental prophylaxis, removes plaque and calculus from above the gum line. Removing plaque from the root surface below the gum line requires a different procedure. The hygienist will also polish your teeth, remove stains, and recommend brushing and flossing techniques.
Scaling and Root Planing
The procedure in which a hygienist cleans the teeth under the gums is called scaling and root planing. This type of cleaning usually takes several appointments, cleaning one section of the mouth at a time. Most patients are numbed, and the hygienist carefully makes sure that all calculus below the gums is removed. Calculus below the gum line indicates gingivitis, or gum disease.