Good dental hygiene habits, including tooth brushing and flossing, are very important. However, even with the best of efforts, everyone should have a professional dental cleaning on a regular basis. Over time, plaque and tartar (calculus), and stain build-up on our teeth and under our gums.  Eventually, this will lead to gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). Professional dental cleaning aims to remove this bacterial deposit and prevent and treat gum disease.  At Dr. Boeriu’s dental office, a dental cleaning is typically performed by highly skilled Registered Dental Hygienists.

We know that many people dread coming to the dentist, but knowing what typically happens during a dental hygiene appointment can hopefully ease some of your stress.

What can I expect at my dental cleaning appointment?

Every dental hygiene appointment at Dr. Boeriu’s office is specifically designed to meet your specific oral needs and therefore may vary slightly. However, these are some typical events that may happen.

Examination

After reviewing your medical and dental history, a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and oral cavity will be performed. This can include taking intraoral photos and/or radiographs (X-rays) if prescribed by the dentist. A probing is typically a part of the examination (this is done to check the health of your gums and bone level around your teeth). The examination is conducted by both the dental hygienist and dentist.

Debridement/Scaling

Scaling is the removal of calculus build-build up. This is typically done with the use of an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments (scalers).  The dental hygienist carefully removes all plaque and calculus build-up from the tooth’s surface and below the gumline.

Polishing

Polishing is performed to remove stain from the surface of the teeth.  This likely feels like a “gritty toothpaste” and can vary in flavour.

Fluoride treatment

Fluoride treatment may be recommended as well.  This can involve a special mouth rinse or a varnish that is painted on to the tooth surface.  Fluoride treatment helps to prevent cavities and to reduce tooth sensitivity.  Typically, you will be instructed not to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after this treatment.

Oral health instructions

After the examination and “cleaning” are completed the dentist and hygienist will review and clarify any recommended oral health instructions. This can include brushing and flossing techniques and any other care and treatment recommendations.  It is essential to ask any questions you may have.

Are dental cleanings painful?

We understand that dental visits can cause quite a bit of anxiety for most people.  Most people will not experience any significant discomfort during dental cleaning.  However, for some people, they can be quite uncomfortable and even painful. If this is the case, please make sure you let your dentist or hygienist know as they can propose different ways of managing your discomfort.  Some people will benefit from having topical anesthetic gel applied to their teeth or, if needed local anesthetic (freezing).

What can I expect after my dental cleaning?

Most people will not experience any issues after a professional dental cleaning. However, some side effects can include increased tooth sensitivity, sore/swollen gums, and a sore jaw.  Most of these are temporary and should resolve on their own. It is crucial to follow any instructions give to you by your dentist/hygienist after your appointment.  Some recommendations may include warm salt-water rinse, antimicrobial mouth wash, desensitizing toothpaste, and sometimes over the counter medication to reduce pain/inflammation. If you end up having any concerns, it is essential to contact your dental office and follow their recommendations.

How often should I have a dental cleaning?

The frequency of your dental cleaning should be based on your oral health. We will be glad to discuss our recommendations with you following your examination.

Professional dental cleaning is a very important part of maintaining good oral health and a beautiful smile.  It is a crucial part of preventing and treating gum disease and reducing cavities.  Your oral health is our primary concern.  If you need a professional dental cleaning or have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Boeriu and his team.