Periodontics in Anaheim

Deep Cleaning VS Regular Prophy

Here at All Day Smile, our Periodontal specialists recommend that a patient must come in at least once every six months for a regular check up and cleaning. There are several types of cleanings depending on how much build up you have in your teeth.  Scaling and Root Planning or “SRP”, or commonly known as “Deep Cleaning” is a procedure in which a Dentist or Hygienist go deep under the gums to take out those hard mineral build up. Since they will be working under the gums, a local anesthetic is administered to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.

The Dentist or Hygienist will then use an ultrasonic scaler to remove the tatar buildup on your teeth. The tip of this instrument moves faster than the speed of sound and that vibration helps remove the calculus easier and more efficiently than manual scaling. However, a regular scaler is still used to remove tartar build up in hard to reach places. Additional X-Rays might be taken during the procedure to make sure that every piece of calculus is cleaned and removed.  The Dentist or Hygienist then finishes the procedure by polishing your teeth using a fluoride-rich paste. After the procedure there will be minimal irritation on the gums since the Hygienist worked underneath the gums to remove build up. This is normal. In some special cases, a medicated rinse is recommended to help with keeping the area clean and promote fast healing.

If you visit your dentist regularly every 6-months (sometimes less than 6 months if recommended by your dentist or hygienist) only a routine Prophylaxis or “Prophy” cleaning is required. Unlike SRP’s, Prophylaxis cleanings only involves area above the gum lines so the application of local anesthetic is not necessary. The Ultrasonic scaler may or may not be used in this procedure depending on the level of reoccurring tartar build up. If the build up is minimal, a manual scaler is used instead. Again, to finish up the procedure your teeth are polished with a fluoride-rich paste.

If you maintain proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing after meals then that will affect the amount of buildup that accumulates over time. It has shown that people that maintained these good habits have very minimal reoccurrences. However, it is still recommended that you see your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis.