Dental Cleanings: Regular (Prophy) vs Deep Cleaning | South Lake Tahoe CA
There are several types of dental cleanings that may help to remove accumulated plaque and tartar in your mouth, and improve your overall oral health. The American Dental Association recommends that prophylaxis cleanings be performed every six months by your general dentist as a part of your preventative dental care. Prophylaxis is also referred to as “teeth cleaning”, and involves the removal of accumulated plaque from the surface of your teeth above the gumline, as well as tooth polishing.
Prophylaxis is performed using fine hand instruments, as well as an ultrasonic scaler and a polishing cup and paste if there are no signs of gum disease. Generally, a good candidate for prophylaxis should have firm, pink gums with no bleeding, and the gum pockets should be within the healthy range of 1 – 3mm. Though the ADA recommends prophy cleaning every six months, people at high risk of gum disease and other oral issues may require more frequent cleaning at 8 – 16 week intervals.
Will Prophylaxis Cleaning Work for Me?
There are some cases where regular prophylaxis cleaning may not be enough to improve your oral health. Your dental professional will examine your teeth and gums and then determine the best type of alternative cleaning for your individual needs. The other types of dental cleaning include:
- Full Mouth Debridement – it is recommended for people whose teeth have not been professionally cleaned for more than a year, resulting in heavy plaque and tartar (calculus) build-up. This procedure is typically performed before an oral examination and diagnosis to ensure good visibility of the actual condition of your mouth
- Scaling and root planing – commonly referred to as “deep cleaning”, this procedure is recommended for patients who exhibit signs of periodontal disease, such as deeper gum pockets (over 3mm), inflammation and bleeding gums, accumulation of plaque and tartar below the gumline, and/or loss of bone tissue supporting the teeth.
- Periodontal maintenance – following treatment for periodontal disease, your dental professional may recommend this specialized cleaning every 8 – 12 weeks as part of your ongoing treatment for chronic periodontal disease to reduce the risk of adverse symptoms.
Please visit your dentist to discuss your dental cleaning in South Lake Tahoe CA today.