Cleaning & Scaling

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Most dentists recommend scheduling two regular exams each year. Part of the regular exams will include routine cleanings. There are times when a hygienist will provide a professional cleaning for your teeth, and other times they will do a deeper clean called scaling.

Routine Teeth Cleaning

Regular cleaning provides general maintenance to keep the gums and teeth healthy. During a routine cleaning, the spaces that exist between the gums and teeth will be carefully cleaned. This gentle cleaning will remove any bacteria and tartar that have built up.

Scaling and Deep Cleaning

Scaling, or deep cleaning is necessary if there is a large amount of bacteria or tartar buildup under the gums. This usually occurs if there are deeper spaces between teeth and gums. When these “pockets” form they can hold bacteria and tartar. Patients who do not have their teeth cleaned often or those who do not observe good oral hygiene habits may be at risk for developing gum disease.

How does the dentist decide?

A dental professional will choose the type of cleaning is needed when he performs routine examinations. He can tell what level of cleaning is needful based on how deep the spaces are between the teeth and gums. The dentist will rate the depth of the pockets by using gum measurements. The lower the number, the less deep cleaning is needed.

Why are Cleaning and Scaling Important?

Cleaning and scaling are important preventive measures that can help reduce your risk of gum disease or other oral conditions. By visiting the dentist regularly, teeth can be cleaned appropriately to avoid developing periodontal disease by preventing the buildup of tartar. When tartar is not controlled, the gums can become inflamed and lead to serious gum disease requiring extensive treatment to correct it. Cleaning and scaling are important for preventing it from occurring.