Professional Teeth Cleanings

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Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Professional teeth cleaning.Even if you brush and floss your teeth faithfully, it is important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. (Of course, if you aren't quite so meticulous about your oral hygiene, it's even more important!) After a thorough cleaning, your teeth will feel smooth and squeaky-clean, and they will probably look a lot brighter too. But professional teeth cleanings aren't done for looks alone.

Why do your teeth need this kind of attention? Essentially, it's because over time they tend to build up a layer of plaque (a sticky, bacteria-rich film) and hard deposits (called tartar, or calculus) that are very difficult to remove without special tools. When these deposits are allowed to remain on the tooth surfaces or below the gum line, they provide ideal conditions for bacteria to grow and multiply. The acids produced by some bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease; if left uncontrolled, this can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums, and possibly influence systemic (whole body) diseases.

Dentists have a special term for preventive procedures like tooth cleaning: prophylaxis, from the Greek word meaning to protect or guard against. In this case, the focus is on preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Performed in conjunction with a routine dental examination, a professional cleaning can go a long way toward controlling these two common maladies. While your teeth are being cleaned, it's also a good opportunity to take a close look at your oral health in general and check for a few specific problems.

The Professional Cleaning Procedure

Teeth cleaning is often performed by a dental hygienist — a highly trained technician who uses a special set of tools designed just for this purpose. Because everyone's teeth are a little different, your cleaning will be tailored to your particular needs. However, many cleanings follow a similar pattern.

First, the dental hygienist will do an oral examination to evaluate the health of your oral tissues. Then the cleaning will take place using either an ultrasonic scaler or metal instruments referred to as curettes to remove the plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. The ultrasonic scaler is a hand-held tool with a tiny tip that vibrates at a very high frequency. Hardened deposits are broken up by the rapid movement of the tip, which does not damage the tooth. A constant stream of liquid (called lavage) serves to cool the tip and aid in plaque removal; at the same time, it also washes away the debris.

Some hygienists prefer curettes, which are hand-held instruments that are curved and tapered to fit around and in between the teeth. If your teeth are sensitive, using hand-held instruments may be more comfortable for a professional cleaning. In the capable hands of a hygienist or dentist, it takes only moderate pressure to remove any stubborn buildup and scrub the teeth clean, regardless of which instruments are used.

Finally, your teeth are polished with a low-speed rotary brush fitted with a soft rubber tip. A slightly gritty, toothpaste-like gel is applied, and the tip spins around and polishes the teeth, making them smooth and shiny.

A Requirement for Good Oral Health

Most people don't feel any noticeable discomfort during dental cleanings; some even report they enjoy the experience — especially the dramatic results when it's done! If you haven't had a cleaning in a while, however, it may take you a few moments to get used to getting your teeth cleaned. If you experience any discomfort, however, it may be possible to apply a topical numbing gel or another type of anesthetic.

If your gums are irritated due to bacterial buildup, they may become sore or bleed slightly during the cleaning. It may be possible to prevent this from occuring in the future with oral hygiene measures you can perform at home (such as improved flossing techniques or special mouthrinses); it might also indicate that you need more frequent in-office cleanings. This type of regular maintenance will help you avoid more involved dental procedures down the road — and it will give you the best chance of keeping your teeth for life!

Related Article

Dental Hygiene Visit - Dear Doctor Magazine

Dental Hygiene Visit There's a lot more going on at your regular dental hygiene visit than a feel-good polishing! Dental hygienists collaborate with dentists to provide optimum personalized oral health care to prevent oral disease and to promote your health... Read Article

Ultrasonic Scalers - Dear Doctor Magazine

Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers Rapidly changing technology has revolutionized periodontal therapy with the integration of power scaling techniques resulting in improved clinical outcomes, patient comfort, and reduced time and physical demands on clinicians... Read Article


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    Dr. Channo does great work. He's courteous and fast. Never an issue with his work and his staff is amazing. If you're looking for a dentist or not happy with you're current one, go see Dr. Chano. You won't be disappointed. Never a billing issue with the insurance company like I had at multiple other places in the past.

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    In my 9th year as a patient at Art Dentistry Center, I can honestly say that the professionalism, efficiency and expertise continue to be the best. I had x-rays and a cleaning done this morning. Thorough, all questions answered and out the door. My dental hygiene is really good at 62 because of what they have taught me.

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  • So far I have gotten my teeth cleaned twice and I just recently had 4 fillings done, and I have had nothing but the best service ever. Their receptionist is sweet, my dental hygienist is great, and my dentist is understanding. When I had to get my teeth filled, I was supposed to only have 3 of them done on one side at one appointment and then do the last one on a different day. I arrived at the office as nervous as ever because I absolutely hate the Novocain shot. The dentist offered anxiety medication, but I didn't have a ride home. He then stated that my cavities weren't very deep and could do them without the Novocain. I went with that option and didn't feel any pain at all!! I'm so happy he offered to let me go without the Novocain because no other dentist has done that for me. I actually opted to get the 4th tooth done right then and there to get it all over with. I love this dentist office and will recommend them to everyone!

    ***** By Sarah R. on 09/01/2016

 

  • Excellent Rating- I love this dentist! Fantastic staff with excellent environment and service! I wish they accepted Meridian Insurance!!! 

    ***** By Cynthia R. on 08/03/2016 (Published on RateABiz)

 

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    I recommend Dr Channo, he's professional and very pleasant.

     

    ***** By Aslan S on 06/28/2016 (Published on RateABiz)

 

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