Dental Hygiene

All of our hygienists are Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH). They have special training, education and experience in the field of hygiene care. You can trust that your smile will be professionally cared for and cleaned the way you deserve.

Hygienists evaluate the health of your gum tissue by taking measurements of the pockets between the gum line and the tooth. This helps determine what type of cleaning and frequency is right you. There are several types of dental cleanings that may be recommended based on the current health of your gums.

Routine cleanings are an essential part of a healthy mouth, and a healthy body. Be sure to follow the individualized recommended frequency for your cleanings to keep your mouth in good shape.

A “regular cleaning” or “prophylaxis” is for patients with healthy gum tissue. While many patients fall into this category, the presence of active bacterial infection and a loss of the supporting structures around your teeth may mean that a regular cleaning will not properly treat your disease. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation and loss of bone) are active infections in your mouth and often require adjunctive therapy treatments.

A “full mouth debridement” is for patients who have not been to the dentist in a while and have significant plaque buildup and possibly the beginning of periodontitis (gum disease). If we determine that a Full Mouth Debridement (FMD) is the best course of action for you, it usually is a 2-step process. Its purpose is to remove much of the buildup of plaque and tartar to allow a full evaluation of the teeth and to see if further scaling is needed or if more frequent regular cleanings will be necessary. Once the Full Mouth Debridement is completed, we will schedule you for a follow up evaluation with your hygienist to ensure that we see a resolution in the inflammation of your gums and improved pocket depth readings. Based on this follow up evaluation, we will recommend a dental cleaning frequency that will help maintain this improved state. Those cleanings may be “regular” or, if the health of your gums have not improved as much as necessary, we may then recommend an additional type of treatment called “scaling and root planning”.

Scaling and Root Planing” is often referred to as a “deep cleaning”. This treatment is recommended for patients who are experiencing more significant level of periodontal disease and may follow a Full Mouth Debridement or may be used as an initial therapy itself. Scaling and Root Planing removes the hardened plaque that can affect your bone levels as well as your overall health. Typically, this deep cleaning is completed in two separate appointments, with one half of your mouth being treated each visit, and usually requires local anesthetic. After the scaling and root planing is completed, the hygienist will discuss with you the recommended follow-up frequency for your particular case.

The cleanings you will have after scaling and root planing are known as “Periodontal Maintenance” and the frequency is typically either 3 or 4 months. These frequent professional cleanings are important because they help keep the periodontal disease from progressing and maintain attachment of the gums, in addition to your good, daily home care.

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