Professional Teeth Cleanings

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

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

See What Our Patients Are Saying

  • "Our whole family comes here because the care from beginning to end is the highest quality, and you can trust the diagnosis Dr. Eggnatz makes."
    E R.
  • "Dr Eggnatz has always been responsive to his patients needs with excellent technicians a staff. The office is orderly, impeccably maintained and each staff members treats you kindly and with respect. Highly recommend"
    Perfecto P.
  • "The level of care and professionalism is top-notch, and delivered without pretense. Very friendly staff who are honest with you, who follow-up well, and seem genuinely interested in the patients. They are always up to date with technology and information."
    Barbara C.
  • "I love everything about this office! Everyone is so kind and companionate!. Kristy and Marian (front desk) always, always greet you with a smile. I have had my teeth cleaned by both hygienist. Maydel and Maureen and they are BOTH professional and thorough. Dr E and his assistants (Nora, Laura and Úrsula) are probably the nicest team ever. I wouldn’t go anywhere else."
    A G.
  • "De Egnatz is one of the most professional doctor ever had. Always very concern about his patients. Our entire family of 4 have been with Dr Egnatz for 20 years. Dedicated polite and knows very clear how to explain and how to take care of the patient concern. He is the best. God bless him and he staff."
    Cristina P.
  • "I appreciate Dr. Eggnatz and his staff for many reasons. Dr. Eggnatz practices compassionate and conservative care. His recommendations are always based on the most recent evidence based practice, combined with his years of experience. Also, the office staff is very professional and patient. Lastly, their sanitary practices are impeccable. I have 100% confidence in the care I have received (for at least 48 years because Dr. Michael Eggnatz's father was my dentist too) from Dr Eggnatz and his staff."
    Lisa S.
  • "Dr Eggnatz is THE BEST. All the superlatives are his. You will absolutely look forward to keeping your appointment. Kudos to his staff as well. We love him!"
    Connie S. B.