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Coast Dental Cleaning Masthead

Don’t you love the feeling you have right after your teeth have been cleaned and polished? Only a dentist or a hygienist can remove plaque buildup from those hard-to-reach places that regular brushing and flossing can’t get.

Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and multiplies deep below the gum line. Everyone has plaque. When you eat or drink something, some of the particles get stuck around your teeth. If you don’t remove them, the bacteria in your mouth will break down the particles into acids, and those acids will eat away at the enamel and cause decay.

Plaque not only causes cavities, it also caused periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Learn more about periodontal disease

Types of Cleanings

Types of Cleaning graphicThere are three basic types of procedures to remove plaque and bacteria from teeth, and treat the areas above and below the gum line. The type and frequency of procedure you need depends on your dentist’s diagnosis.

Prophy: Patients diagnosed with a healthy mouth condition receive a prophylaxis or healthy mouth cleaning — the kind that most insurance companies cover. This procedure removes plaque on the teeth and at the gum line.

Full Mouth Debridement: Patients diagnosed with gingivitis, a reversible form of periodontal disease, typically require a full mouth debridement to remove build-up on the teeth so a full assessment can be conducted. Afterward, many patients return to a healthy mouth condition.

Scaling & Root Planing (SRP): Patients diagnosed with active periodontal disease cannot benefit from a healthy mouth cleaning because they require treatment above and below the gum line. These patients generally receive SRP, a non-surgical treatment that removes build-up, smooths out exposed root surfaces and may include the application of localized antibiotics and fluoride as well. SRP often takes several visits to complete and ongoing periodontal maintenance is prescribed at regular intervals afterward.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal disease is a systemic disease like diabetes that requires careful monitoring. Your dentist may prescribe a periodontal maintenance routine to provide cleanings above and below the gum line to help manage the disease and keep it from becoming worse. Typically, this routine includes:

  • Site-specific scaling & root planing
  • Antimicrobial irrigation
  • Placing localized antibiotics
  • Prescription-strength fluoride application
  • Polishing
  • Ongoing periodontal reassessment
  • Hygiene instructions

Learn more about periodontal disease

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Please fill out the form below. During normal business hours, please call 1-800-32-SMILE and press 1 to make an appointment.

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