Periodontics

What Is Professional Tooth Cleaning and Polishing, and How Often Is It Needed?

Professional cleaning and polishing of the teeth is one of the most popular services that dental clients receive. However, it receives mixed reactions. Are those well-deserved? No, by no means. The idea that professional cleaning causes teeth damage and pain is wrong. How lasting are the results? That depends on the patient’s ambition to maintain the new condition of the oral cavity for a maximum period of time.

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Most periodontal diseases (periodontitis and gingivitis) are caused by a bacterial infection in the dental plaque, which damages directly or indirectly the tissues of the periodont. All other factors for periodontal diseases are deemed to be of secondary importance. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Stress
  • Genetic factors
  • Viral infection etc.

Only rarely does a bacterial infection appear to be a secondary factor. In most cases, it is the main and primary cause of periodontal disease. This leads to the conclusion that professional cleaning and polishing is the best and most effective method for the treatment of periodontal diseases. The mechanical destruction of accumulated depositions of bacteria prevents the infection from deteriorating.

All periodontal diseases have common symptoms just like any other inflammation. Are you familiar with the bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, swollen, red and/or ailing gums, halitosis and bad breath?

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There is only one way to cope with this problem – seeking a consultation with a specialist, an effective preventive professional ultrasound cleaning of plaque and tartar, and polishing of all teeth surfaces every 4 months. Regular check-ups and cleanings would allow us to detect periodontal disease at the earliest stage possible. One cannot always determine the presence of a bacterial infection. Periodontal diseases run chronically, slowly, even asymptomatically. The sooner they are diagnosed and treated, the better the results. The percentage of irreversible and unrecoverable tissue would be minimal or none at all.

Tartar cleaning is a preventive, medicinal, and absolutely painless procedure, a crucial weapon in our fight against periodontal diseases. The modern way of removing tartar is through ultrasound. The procedure is called scaling. High-frequency vibrations “smash” the tartar deposits into small particles, and the water jet washes them off the teeth surface. However, microscopic grains of tartar remain on the tooth surface after the ultrasound cleaning. They are so tiny that you cannot feel them with your tongue. But they make the surface rough and impede the hygiene even of the most diligent person facilitating the re-accumulation of tartar after a short period of time. This problem is resolved by polishing after the ultrasound cleaning, extending the effects of the procedure. The result is smooth and shining teeth.

This kind of prevention, together with the instructions for proper oral hygiene and the patient’s motivation to maintain very good oral health, are part of our daily practice. Keeping in mind our struggle against periodontal diseases as well as our experience and current statistics, we would say that a growing percentage of our first-time patients have periodontal diseases. These issues are often neglected and disregarded for years, and lead to complications.

Led by our understanding that periodontal diseases are a serious problem, we pay special attention to your treatment, and what lies ahead for you once you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease.

 

The phases in periodontal treatment are the following:

  • Initial Phase (requiring cleanings varying in number and method)
  • Corrective Phase (correction and/or removal of all plaque-retentive factors, for example overcontoured restoration, bulging crown edges, enamel roughness, etc.)
  • Maintaining Phase (preserving the result achieved during the first two phases on part of the patient as well as regular professional cleanings every 4 months)
  • Surgical phase (the places with significant loss of tissue holding the teeth and where there is an irreversible defect are processed surgically. For example, adding a bone, membrane, graft etc.)

First Phase.

During this phase of the treatment you will undergo a detailed clinical examination:

  • Orthopantomography (panoramic image)
  • Sector radiographies (in case of bone loss)
  • Instruction for oral hygiene (clinically and in written form)
  • Prescription of drugs for oral hygiene (appropriate size and type of brushes and anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Remedial measures only of necessity (antibiotic)
  • Professional cleaning (1 – 3 visits)
  • Splint placement of necessity (fixing the teeth that have a certain degree of mobility)
  • Curettage of the root surfaces of the teeth (2-6 visits)
  • Reassessment of the periodontitis and making an appointment for the next phase of the treatment

Second phase.

  • During this phase of the treatment the defective restorations would be corrected (fillings, crowns etc.), and all plaque-retentive factors would be removed. Splint placement of moving teeth would be performed if it has not been performed before, and is considered necessary.

Third Phase.

  • This phase is as important as the first one. It is extremely important to attend the appointments to maintain the achieved improvements (professional cleaning every 4 months) as well as to observe strictly the instructions for oral hygiene. Regardless of the diagnosis (gingivitis or periodontitis), every patient passes through this phase.

Forth Phase.

  • Only patients with severe diseases go through this phase. The patient will be informed at the beginning of the periodontal therapy if there would be a surgical intervention or not. Periodontal therapy does not always include all phases. The minimal number of phases of every treatment is two (first and third), the rest (second and forth) are assessed based on the condition and diagnosis.

 

Important tips for patients with periodontal disease:

  • Have professional cleanings once every 4 months;
  • Take time at least once a day for thorough cleaning (5-10 min.);
  • Master the correct cleaning technique;
  • It is obligatory to use small interdental brushes;
  • Eliminate the secondary factors complicating your disease (for example smoking);
  • Do not be misled by the symptoms you have. Most periodontal diseases have a chronic characteristic and might run almost without symptoms.
  • Remember that you are the most important in your periodontal treatment.