Professional teeth cleaning procedures are essential. But to many people, a visit to a dental hygienist is a nightmare. Their dental anxieties and apprehensions cannot allow them to complete this 30 to 60-minute procedure. However, they forget that regular teeth cleanings can improve oral hygiene. For instance, an annual dental checkup can help in detecting and treating early signs of cavities and gingivitis. This will prevent serious oral issues. Knowing what to expect during a teeth cleaning process can reduce the apprehensions that many patients experience. Even though different dental hygienists may apply various procedures, these steps are crucial during professional teeth cleanings.
What does a dental hygienist do?
1. Inspect Your Teeth and Gums
First and foremost, a dental hygienist will examine your mouth using a tiny concave mirror. They will check if your teeth and gums have any signs of oral issues like tartar and plaque buildup. Moreover, the hygienist will assess your mouth for inflamed gums and dark spots on your teeth. These inspections simplify the teeth cleaning process as hygienists will have an idea of the issue to focus on. If serious problems are spotted during the initial examinations, a dentist is informed.
Your hygienists will ask a few questions before they begin the cleaning process. They would want to know if you are comfortable or have any concerns about your oral health. You should also ask your questions and seek answers on what to expect during the cleaning procedure.
2. Take Digital X-rays
A professional dentist will be more cautious when cleaning their patient’s teeth. With a digital x-ray, the dentist will examine your teeth and mouth. The X-rays detect oral problems that are hard to spot using concave mirrors such as:
• Teeth movement
• Bone loss
• Tumors and cysts
• Oral abnormalities
If you are a new patient, a competent dentist will first take these x-rays. This will give them a quick overview of your teeth and gums. Some cases may require the dentist to take photos of your mouth. This should not freak you out. It is an important oral assessment step required by your insurance provider. If you are paying from your pocket, seek to know the dental cleaning cost without insurance.
3. Remove Plaque and Tartar
Next is the removal of plaque and tartar by the use of a scaler. This is a small hooked device used to clean the gum line, teeth surface, and in between the teeth. Your hygienist will scrape off the plaque and tartar that has buildup in your tooth and mouth. A manual or ultrasonic scaler may be used. During the scaling process, you will hear the scraping sounds, which is usual.
How long does a dental cleaning take?
The time used in tartar removal varies from one person to another. The much tartar and plaque there is in your mouth, the longer it will take to remove. However, you can prevent tartar and plaque from building up through regular brushing and flossing your teeth. If this step makes you uncomfortable, you know what to do.
4. Polish with Gritty Toothpaste
Using a handheld electric tool, the hygienist will polish your teeth to get rid of remaining stains. This polishing tool feels comfortable, and you may not notice what is happening until the hygienist is done. It is a special brush with a gritty too