You may not know it, but there’s more to cleaning teeth than brushing and flossing. We evaluate each patient individually to determine which treatment best suits their periodontal (gum) health. Routine X-rays and dental examinations can be extremely revealing when it comes to preventing periodontal disease. X-rays show the extent of bone and gum recession, and also aid the dentist in identifying areas which may need future attention.
Once we’ve made a proper dental evaluation, there are three types of teeth cleaning services we can offer our patients at North Seattle Dental.
Adult Teeth Cleaning ( Prophylaxis )
The familiar procedure of cleaning teeth is referred to as prophylaxis, which may be described as: “scaling and polishing to remove coronal plaque, calculus and stains above the gums.” The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of your teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them, which will make it easier to keep your teeth clean during your regular home care. We call it good maintenance for patients who have a healthy mouth with no gum or bone problems.
Other procedures exist for patients who have any bone loss, periodontal disease, or infection around their teeth. If you have mobility of your teeth, bleeding, receded areas where your gums have pulled away from your teeth, or gaps where the spaces around the roots of your teeth are exposed, regular/standard cleaning is not the best method of cleaning for you.
Prophylaxis is recommended twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be performed every 3-4 months on periodontitis sufferers. Though gum disease cannot be completely reversed, prophylaxis is one of the tools we can use to effectively halt its destructive progress.
The procedure removes bacteria, toxins and diseased deposits from the surfaces of tooth roots. It is one of the first steps in treating gum and bone disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is very common, but doesn’t always have distinct symptoms. It is an inflammation and infection of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums, bone, ligaments, root surfaces) that eventually results in the loss of your teeth. If your gums bleed easily, are red or swollen, or your teeth appear longer or have shifted, this may be the appropriate treatment for you.
If you have periodontal disease and we use root planing to remove deposits from the roots of your teeth, regular or standard cleaning treatments are no longer appropriate. Instead, you will require more frequent and in depth gum and bone care procedures to keep your mouth healthy.
If you are treated for periodontal disease (through surgery or root planing), we will consult with you and explain the components of an on-going periodontal maintenance program. Typically, an interval of three months between appointments is most effective.
Additional Periodontal Therapies
Your North Seattle dentists or dental hygienists may recommend Arestin, Systemic antibiotics (oral medication), or a referral to a periodontist, as part of your periodontal maintenance program.
Arestin is an antibiotic that is easily placed in the infected gums around your teeth. It is used to help treat your periodontal disease and help promote healing and pocket reduction after scaling and root planning. It is very effective because of it localized, targeted application directly in the area of concern. It is non-invasive and effective.
For our youngest patients, we create a positive experience and focus on educating the parents and child on good oral hygiene and dietary habits. We recommend exams begin as soon as the first tooth erupts, but no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at this age is a “well baby checkup” for the teeth. Checkups then occur every six months with “typical” cleanings usually beginning around age 3 or sooner depending on the child’s comfort level in the dental chair.
Learn more about how we’ll help keep your teeth health, set up your dental consultation with us today.