Tooth cleaning is a standard practice in oral hygiene, which involves the removal of plaque from teeth. It helps in preventing cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Teeth cleaning is a routine part of your lives, but professional tooth cleaning is something more important, to remove tartar buildup in your teeth, that cannot be removed through regular brushing. Professional services include tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and debridement.
Plaque is a yellowish substance that sticks to your teeth. It is primarily bacteria in a biofilm. The plaque buildup is in the form of an organized structure, which makes it impossible to remove just with rinsing the mouth with water or using sprays. The plaque that has accumulated on your teeth for a long time starts absorbing the mineral content of saliva. The absorption results in the plaque turning into a hard substance known as calculus, commonly recognized as tartar. It is harder than bone and cannot be removed from simple brushing.
The largest deposits of plaque are closest to the gum line. Bacterial plaque irritates and infects the gums leading to gum disease gingivitis, which is an inflammation in the gingiva that causes redness and bleeding of gums.
Scaling or deep cleaning is a process used to remove tartar deposits. Tools are used to break and remove the tartar. The technique involves the use of ultrasonic instruments and hand instruments, such as curettes and periodontal scalers.
The Ultrasonic scalers create tiny air bubbles in a process called cavitation. Bacteria cannot survive in the presence of oxygen and it helps break down bacterial cell membranes, causing them to explode.
After the scaling is completed, further steps need to be taken to ensure disinfection. Scaling may require prior dental x-rays. Debridement is another cleaning process for the removal of accumulated plaque and tarter, similar to scaling, that uses its own set of tools.
Tooth polishing is a common part of dental hygiene and is as old as the practice of the dentistry. Polishing smoothes teeth surfaces and helps restore them. The smoothened surface reduces the presence of biofilms and other extrinsic stains developed on the tooth. Selective polishing is a standard practice and is performed immediately after scaling. It should be noted that polishing is done for aesthetic reasons and not health-based reasons.
Professional tooth cleaning is the norm and is an essential requirement of your hygiene. You should note that tooth cleaning and the employment of various techniques become necessary after extensive tarter formation.