Getting your teeth cleaned is a no brainer given the food we all eat. Every so often, however, you need to get more extensive treatment if you are smart.
Dentists recommend that their patients receive a routine dental cleaning every six months. A regular dental cleaning is mostly for preventative purposes. It cleans the teeth more thoroughly than can be done at home. Sometimes dentists recommend that patients have a more thorough cleaning.
Dentists usually recommend a deep cleaning when there is evidence of bone loss or recession of the gums from the teeth. These are both signs that gum disease might occur. There are two parts to the process. The first is scaling. Scaling is done to remove plaque, which is present above and below the gum line. The second step is root plaining. The dentist will remove any rough spots on the root of the tooth. By smoothing out the tooth, the gum is more likely to reattach.
Not all patients need such thorough cleaning. There is also no standard amount of times that you should have it done. If a patient can benefit from it, the dentist will discuss it with the patient. This type of cleaning is usually only done when there is evidence of periodontal disease. After the cleaning, dentists will usually prescribe an antibiotic to help eliminate any remaining bacteria.
This procedure is usually done in the office of the dentist or oral surgeon. It is an outpatient, non-surgical procedure. It is usually done in two appointments. The dentist will give small shots in the gum line to numb the area. The procedure is usually not painful. Some patients might experience some pain when the shots are administered. There also might be a little sensitivity afterwards. Dentists will generally schedule a follow up appointment in about four to six weeks. They will determine what further treatment, if any, needs to be completed.
The costs depends a lot on what type of dental insurance a patient has. Some dental plans will pay for it as part of a prevention plan for periodontal disease. Other dental plans will require that a patient pay a deductible or a percentage of the cost themselves. If a patient does not have dental insurance, the cost can be several hundred dollars. If cost is a concern, the patient should discuss with their dentist whether the cleaning is essential. If so, the dentist might be able to work out a payment plan. Although it can be expensive, it can help prevent future damage that will cost a lot more to repair or treat.