Hygiene & Cleanings
Preventative Care Starts Here
New Patient Hygiene Treatments – Scale & Clean
Every patient is unique and the degree of treatment required is different. For new patients, we aim for you to see our Dentist for a full exam as well as our Hygienist. Most people require a good scale and clean yet as we noted everyone is unique. If, for example, you just need stain removal and minimal scaling of your teeth and gums, a short appointment will be required. But for deep scaling of heavy calculus (tartar), you may need a longer visit or even multiple treatments to get back on track. We tailor all our dental hygienist visits to suit the individual.
Returning Patient Hygiene Treatments
Regular patients visit the dental hygienist at least every six months. Our dental hygienist will scale your teeth and gums and review gum health. She’ll discuss your home care instructions and, if necessary, discuss your diet and any risk of decay or gum disease. Our dentist will then see you for a review examination.
Make an appointment to see the dental hygienist.
Why Do I Need It?
Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.
If gum disease is caught early and hasn’t damaged the structures below the gum line, a professional dental hygienist cleaning should do. If the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, however, scaling and root planing may be needed.
Australians have an extensive burden of oral health disease. In the USA chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States. A July 2015 study (3) in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that scaling and root planing is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis (gum disease that has advanced past gingivitis).
What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?
This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is when your dentist & hygienist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gum line, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Your dentist & hygienist will then begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.
After Care Tips
After a deep cleaning, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender, and bleed.
To prevent infection, control pain, or help you heal, your dentist may prescribe a pill or mouth rinse. Your dentist may also insert medication (sub-antimicrobial-dose doxycycline) directly into the pocket that was cleaned.
Your dentist will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.
- ADA; 14.10.20 https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/scaling-and-root-planing
- ADA; 14.10.20 https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Oral-Health-Video-Resources
- Cited from https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177%2815%2900346-3/abstract
Christine Fischer-Stoess is our hygienist and she has been caring for our patients for near to a decade. Find out more about Christine.