Routine dental check-ups are important, and the professional dental cleaning has a lot to do with why you need to go every six months. Do dental cleanings really help that much? The short answer is yes, but there’s a lot more to it.
If you miss too many routine check-ups, you could need a lot more dental work, and possibly a deep cleaning treatment. While that may not sound like much, there’s a big difference between basic dental cleanings and deep cleaning treatment. Read on to learn everything you need to know about both teeth cleaning types.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings involve a little more than your daily oral care routine, and they leave your teeth feeling amazing. That’s because even the most meticulous routine can’t remove all plaque buildup, especially between teeth, around the base, and along the gums.
Why Do You Need Professional Teeth Cleaning?
No matter how committed you are to dental care, you can’t give your teeth and gums everything they need. Daily brushing and flossing isn’t a substitute for the thorough work of a professional, especially since you can’t always see buildup.
Dental professionals can access those tough-to-reach areas and clear them out. More importantly, daily brushing can’t remove tartar. Only dental professionals have the skills and tools to handle tartar removal.
Skipping routine dental cleanings could put you at greater risk for dental disease and infections. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings can alert your dental team to early signs of gingivitis and cavities so that you can take preventative measures.
What To Expect in a Basic Dental Cleaning?
Settle into your comfy, reclining chair and open wide! Your dental team will use various tools for cleaning teeth, plaque removal, and teeth polishing.
- Scalers, hook-like instruments with pointed tips, work on stubborn, hard bits of tartar and tough-to-reach places.
- Scrapers remove plaque buildup.
- Polishers and a flavored polishing paste rub off any remaining debris to leave teeth feeling smooth.
Finally, you can expect a professional flossing to remove any remaining bits between the teeth or below the gum line. Your dental hygienist will rinse your mouth throughout the process to wash away residue.
Note that you may experience some temporary discomfort during parts of the cleaning. People with sensitive gums may also bleed a little.
Does Dental Cleaning Weaken Teeth?
Absolutely not! Though some people may have concerns about the tools removing more than plaque, dental cleanings don’t damage your tooth enamel.
How Long Can You Go Without a Teeth Cleaning, and What Happens if You Never Get Your Teeth Cleaned?
You can go as long as you like, but only if you want to put your health at risk. Poor oral health has been tied to several chronic health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
Putting off your teeth cleanings can result in more dental work and other complications down the line. This is especially important if you have any of the following risk factors:
- Poor oral health habits
- Tobacco use
- Older age
- Decreased immunity, such as that occurring with leukemia, HIV/AIDS, or chemotherapy
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medications
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy or menopause
- Substance abuse
- Poor-fitting dental restorations
- Problems with the way your teeth fit together when biting
Having your teeth checked and professionally cleaned every six months can save you a lot of trouble, and money, in the future. Plus, isn’t that fresh teeth feeling worth the visit?
How Much Does a Teeth Cleaning Cost?
Dental cleaning costs can deter some people from getting the care they need, but it’s possible to find affordable teeth cleaning prices. The average cost of an adult cleaning can range from $115 up to $150, and children cost slightly less. If you have dental insurance, they likely cover some of the cost.
At Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics, we realize that not everyone has access to dental insurance, but you can still get an affordable teeth cleaning with our Dental Savings Plan or by taking advantage of our flexible financing options.
Deep Cleaning Treatment
When you go to a routine check-up, your dental team will examine the pockets, that space between your teeth and gums. Ideally, the pockets should be 3mm or less. If the pockets are 5mm or more, then your team will likely recommend a deep dental cleaning.
Why You Might Need a Deep Cleaning?
Deep cleaning takes longer and involves more work to prevent the worsening of tooth decay or periodontal disease or both. There are a few circumstances that usually lead to a deep cleaning:
- You haven’t had a basic dental cleaning in some time.
- There is too much plaque buildup to remove during a standard cleaning.
- You have moderate gum disease that needs treatment to prevent worsening.
In these cases, a deep cleaning can prevent more expensive and invasive procedures. It may be your best chance at avoiding further health complications.
What to Expect with a Deep Cleaning?
A deep cleaning involves two steps, teeth scaling and root planing. Your hygienist goes deeper under the gum line and along the tooth’s surface. They may use a metal scaling tool, laser tool, or ultrasonic teeth cleaning.
After the dental scaling, root planing involves the use of an ultrasonic device to vibrate the plaque off the tooth’s surface. Then, using a special tool that’s like a scaler, the hygienist removes all remaining plaque.
To prevent bacterial infection, your hygienist will wash the entire area with antibiotic medication. Our dentist may also prescribe an oral antibiotic. You will need to follow up with another appointment to make sure the gums and teeth heal properly.
What are the Benefits of a Deep Cleaning?
Also known as periodontal cleaning, deep cleanings help prevent the worsening of gum disease and tooth decay. The deep gum cleaning removes buildups that you can’t reach during daily care and that your hygienist can’t remove during a standard cleaning. It’s the best opportunity to get your mouth back to a healthier place.
How Much Does a Deep Cleaning Cost?
Deep cleaning teeth costs vary depending on the situation and how much work is necessary. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 up to $1200 on average.
At Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics, our price-match guarantee extends to scaling and root planing costs. Plus, our Dental Savings Plan allows members to save on deep cleanings!
If it’s been a while since you saw a dentist for teeth cleaning, or you know you’re due for a six-month checkup, Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics near you can help.