It is recommended to see your dentist at least twice a year. During your first visit at the doctor’s office, he/she examines your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other health problems. If there are no signs of gum disease, a routine dental cleaning is performed to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth. If there are signs of gum disease, deep cleaning is advised.
Another name for routine dental cleaning is prophylaxis or “prophy”. Deep cleaning is often called “Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)”.
Even with proper daily brushing and flossing, still some plaque remains on your teeth and hardens to become tartar. Tartar can be removed effectively only with a professional cleaning. The main cause of tooth decay is plaque and tartar.
Variety of instruments are carefully used to remove all the plaque and tartar above and below the gum-line. These instruments may include different kinds of hand and ultrasonic scalers, as well as flossing aids. Stains are removed by polishing instruments during the cleaning visit.
With regular dental cleanings, we can help you maintain a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.
The main reason for scaling and root planning is to eliminate the source of gum disease (periodontal infection). When there is active periodontal disease, routine cleanings are not enough because they mainly focus on the areas of the tooth that are above the gumline. A scaling and root planning procedure, sometimes called SRP, removes plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins from the tooth surfaces below the gumline.
To keep our patients comfortable, we usually numb the area before the procedure begins.
With special instruments, we carefully remove the plaque and tartar around the tooth and then smooth the root surfaces. We may also apply fluoride or a medication to the area.
If you have just a few areas of infection, we may treat just those teeth. However, if the infection is widespread in the mouth, we may treat one or two sections of your mouth at a time, dividing the treatment over several appointments.
Scaling and root planning help your gums heal and tighten around the teeth and give you back your healthy smile.