Dental Cleaning in Edison, NJ
What is a Dental Cleaning?
A dental cleaning is the most common dental service among all other procedures at our practice in Edison, NJ, which incidentally is one of the cities in the US that boasts of its excellent local dental practice. Dental cleaning, which is also referred to as dental prophylaxis, is professional teeth cleaning that patients are required to have in order to maintain good dental health. If you are in need of teeth cleaning in Edison NJ and nearby areas, call Gentle Dental Care today to schedule an appointment.
Why should I schedule a dental cleaning?
Dental cleaning is a preventive dental treatment that involves taking out plaque and tartar that have built up and have become deposited on the surfaces of the teeth. The pellicle that coats the teeth contains calcium, which an element that aids in making the teeth strong. However, despite the benefits of calcium, pellicle formation results to calcium deposits building up, which, over time, transforms into plaque and tartar.
Teeth cleaning polishes the teeth at a level that cannot be achieved with regular oral hygiene like brushing and flossing. It makes teeth surfaces smooth and clean, effectively curtailing bacterial growth.
What other procedures are included in a dental cleaning?
The common procedures included in teeth cleaning at our office in Edison NJ are:
- Scaling of the teeth
- Tooth polishing
- Tooth debridement in cases where too much tartar has accumulated
It is recommended by dentists that a teeth cleaning is done about twice a year, but if you have an exceptional dental care routine, your dentist might recommend that you have it done only once a year.
The Teeth Cleaning Procedure
Our dental clinic in Edison NJ is equipped to perform not only the standard methods of teeth cleaning, but we also offer teeth cleaning services using state-of-the-art systems to make sure that our patients have the best care available to them.
First, your dentist will try to break off the larger pieces of tartar using an ultrasonic instrument that uses pulses or tickling vibrations to knock them loose while spraying a mist of water to wash away the debris and maintain the proper temperature in the area. This device will emit a whistling or humming sound, much like when you use an electric toothbrush. The pressure can be adjusted depending on the amount of tartar that you have on your teeth.
After removing the larger pieces of tartar, your dentist will then use fine hand tools called scalers and curettes to get the smaller tartar deposits and to make the tooth surface smooth by applying gentle pressure while scraping off the deposits. Once the tooth surface is smooth, a prophylactic paste is applied and will be spun around the surface of the teeth to make it smooth and shiny.
To finish the teeth cleaning procedure, your dentist will apply fluoride to your teeth to strengthen them because the acid from the bacteria that thrived in the tartar weakens the tooth surface.
“These guys are the best. Always helpful and cooperative.” – Karen F. 10-10-05
“Dr Hart and Staff- I was happy to hear that MY dental office received the award for the Best Dental Office. I knew that before the award- you are truly the BEST. I should know, you have been so very wonderful to me, keep up the good work.” – Winnie B. 12-5-05
“Dr. Messer, I am very happy with the results you’ve achieved for me & thank you for all your time and patience to please me.” – Jennie P. July-2005
Can a dental cleaning damage your teeth?
Anything but. You could think that when our hygienists are pushing with a dental pick on a particularly stubborn area of tartar that they could be damaging your tooth enamel. Actually, they’re simply creating a weak spot in the calcified tartar so that it then breaks off in pieces. Similarly, scraping a tooth with a wide area of tartar buildup doesn’t affect the enamel, it simply removes the tartar.
This is important, and reason enough not to worry about damaging your teeth. It takes about six months for plaque to turn to tartar in certain areas of your mouth. This is especially true on the inside of the lower front teeth. But if you don’t come in every six months, tartar can advance throughout your mouth and it will begin to push its way under your gums. That is the beginning of gum disease. There’s no way to remove tartar on your teeth except with a hygienist or dentist working on it during these cleanings.
Are my dental cleanings covered by my dental insurance?
Any dental insurance worth its salt covers two professional cleanings and oral exams each year. This is because, as mentioned above, that’s about the time it takes for tartar to begin getting out of hand. Getting rid of it at that point is the ultimate in preventive care. Also, any decay we find after only six months is likely to require only a very small filling. If left for a year or two, that decay can enter the interior of the tooth. Now the tooth will require a root canal just to save it (not to mention to save you from the extreme nerve pain when the infection impacts the nerves inside your tooth!).
How often should I receive a professional cleaning and exam?
The American Dental Association recommends having these cleanings and exams every six months.
Are there any risks involved with dental cleanings?
There aren’t any risks. As mentioned above, the only risk is not coming see us at Gentle Dental every six months. Oral hygiene is really one of those areas where you get out what you put in. If you spend two minutes brushing your teeth diligently twice daily, and about 30 seconds flossing that will preclude you from ever having to deal with most large-scale dental issues, things such as root canals, gum scaling and planing, possible tooth extraction, and placing dental implants or bridges. Good home hygiene and maintaining your regular professional cleaning and exam appointments is some of the best insurance you’ll ever find.
What happens if I skip my professional cleanings and exams?
Some people are more worried about keeping up with the supposedly necessary 3,000 miles between oil changes in their cars than they are about seeing their dentist every six months. Don’t believe it? Check these statistics from the American Dental Association. The ADA says that in 2014, 52.3% of adults visited their dentist every six months. 15.4% visited once a year, and 11% visited every two to three years. Believe it or not, 21.3% said they had not visited the dentist in the last five years. Hello gum disease and dentures!
No one is able to always remove all of the plaque from their teeth, and tartar develops when plaque is left alone. As mentioned above, at the six-month period most people need to have their tartar removed to stop the buildup. If left alone, plaque and tartar will begin to push up under the gumline. This at first irritates the gums, a condition known as gingivitis. As the irritation advances, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, pockets form, and bacteria have a field day. Now you have gum disease, and you don’t want to head down that path. It’s far easier, and cheaper, to simply see us every six months and keep a healthy mouth.
That’s your gums. Even if you’re lucky enough to not develop gum disease due to only occasional visits to the dentist, you’re likely to develop tooth decay. When the bacteria in plaque digest the carbohydrates in your mouth, they secrete acids that instantly attack the enamel on your teeth. If you don’t get rid of the plaque, bacteria, and acids by brushing and flossing, they start a process known as demineralization, which leads to tooth decay. Decay first works on the enamel. If we spot this during a regular cleaning and exam, we easily remove it and place a filling. Now the decay is gone, and the tooth is fine. But if the decay penetrates the enamel, it enters the dentin and then the pulp of the tooth. Once inside the tooth, the infection will start to inflame the nerves creating serious pain. Now the tooth is past the point of needing a filling: it needs a root canal to clean out the entire interior of the tooth to remove the bacteria and the infected nerve roots and tissue.
Both of these scenarios don’t happen in just six months. That’s why it’s wise to come in for your regular professional cleanings and exams with the team at Gentle Dental.
If you’re in Edison, Piscataway Township, New Brunswick, Metuchen, or Woodbridge Township, NJ, call (732) 549-5660 to schedule your dental cleaning appointment at Gentle Dental Care, today. You can also read more about our practice and our other offered services on our blog!