Dental Cleaning

Sellwood-Moreland and Portland OR

At Whole Health Dentistry, we offer dental cleanings as part of your oral health routine. These semi-annual checkups are essential in maintaining optimal oral health, as well as overall health.

Why do I need dental cleanings?

The purpose of dental cleanings is to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. This sticky biofilm collects bacteria from foods that you eat and eventually hardens on your teeth. If ignored, tartar will erode dental enamel, cause cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. Even with your best efforts, you will still accumulate some tartar buildup, which is why dental cleanings are essential for every patient.

What to expect during a dental cleaning

During the cleaning, the dental hygienist will document the state of your oral health, making a note of any changes in your teeth or gums. Sometimes, x-rays are a necessary part of this step. Then, the hygienist will gently scrape your teeth to remove the tartar buildup, polish all surfaces of your teeth, and then finish by flossing them. If you suffer from periodontal disease, you may require a dental deep cleaning.

We also perform an oral cancer screening on every patient during these routine exams. This preventive step could save your life!

What is a dental deep cleaning, and do I need one?

Patients with deep pockets in their gums will need a dental deep cleaning. The hygienist will use a probe to measure your gums, any areas measuring deeper than 3 mm require extra attention.

The purpose of a dental deep cleaning is to stop the progression of gum disease, or periodontal disease. Since bacteria and tartar collect under the gums, known as perio pockets, these areas must be cleaned with a scaling and root planing procedure, otherwise known as a deep cleaning.

What is the difference between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning?

The biggest difference between a regular dental cleaning and a deep cleaning is that the hygienist cleans a little deeper to ensure there is no tartar buildup left under the gums. Some patients who receive a dental deep cleaning may benefit from an antibiotic application to help further treat their gum disease. Sometimes, the hygienist may use an ultrasonic scaler to perform the deep cleaning.

To schedule your appointment, contact Whole Health Dentistry today at (503) 462-1538.