Professional Teeth Cleaning: True or False PART I

A teeth cleaning by a professional is a well-known practice for maintaining good oral health. Today we are discussing some myths and truths regarding this treatment. A Professional Teeth Cleaning includes the following:
  1. Scaling – Removal of dental plaque and microbial biofilm from teeth.
  2. Root planning – Scaling of the tooth’s root below gum level.
  3. Teeth Polishing – Helps to prevent oral diseases. Note: Polishing does not remove calculus, but only some plaque and staining, and should therefore be done only in conjunction with scaling.
During this treatment, plaque is removed by an electronic device (an ultrasonic, sonic scaler) or by the use of manual equipment.

Tartar on teeth is only an aesthetic problem.

NOT TRUE! Tartar creates a hard, rough layer on the tooth which is bad for several reasons:
  1. Tartar coats teeth in the areas close to the gums and therefor prevents the toothbrush, mouthwash and other cleaning measures from getting close to your teeth.
  2. Tartar covers the teeth and can make the diagnosis of diseases such as carries tricky to diagnose.
  3. The rough layer allows bacteria to stick to the tooth surface more easily and reproduce easily.
  4. Tartar in the gum area consists of bacteria and microbes that secrete toxins. These toxins can cause gingivitis, bad breath, bleeding, and also gingival recession – a serious hazard where gum and bone tissue are lost, the roots of teeth are exposed, eventually leading to tooth loss. The number one cause of tooth loss in people over 45 is gum disease!

Calculus is accumulated from drinking water.

NOT TRUE! Calculus (a.k.a. tatar), is calcification of dental plaque. Dental plaque is a sticky substance composed of bacteria and food residue that gradually accumulates on the teeth. When plaque remains on the tooth and gum, calcification begins with the accumulation of minerals from saliva. Calcified plaque creates hard and rough calculus which encourages the accumulation of more plaque and calcification of even more bacteria.

Implants and crowns do not develop calculus.

NOT TRUE! Plaque accumulates on teeth as well as on other surfaces such as crowns, dental implants, and even dentures. As tartar builds up on the margins of crowns and implants, it can shorten their lives! Plaque is the number one enemy of implants because it releases toxins (poison) which absorbs into the gums and bone around the implant (withdrawal). This is called peri-implantitis – a localized lesion involving bone loss around an implant. It is very important to keep your implants and crowns clean by carefully brushing and flossing. Your dentist or hygienist can also perform a deep cleaning and thorough cleaning of the walls, crowns and implants in your mouth. Did you know… At Shen Dental our own dentist, Dr. Herbert Fisher, performs teeth cleanings in-house. We believe that getting up-close and personal with your teeth allows us more insight to your mouth – this way we better understand your personal dentistry needs, and as well ensures we know when anything is wrong. It is always important to us to catch problems early!

#102-3737 Oak Street, Vancouver BC




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