Avoiding routine dental cleanings and examinations can lead to more invasive treatments. Patients who have dental phobia often avoid seeing the dentist or hygienist, causing bacteria, plaque and tartar to build-up. A debridement is necessary to remove excessive amounts of plaque and tartar.
It is not possible for the dentist to complete a thorough examination when large amounts of plaque and tartar are covering the teeth and gums. When a patient presents in this condition, the dentist will recommend a full mouth debridement.
Local anesthetic and nitrous oxide can be used to numb the area and relax the patient during treatment. The hygienist will use hand tools and an ultrasonic device called a cavitron to dislodge the plaque and tartar. A cavitron uses water and ultrasonic vibrations to loosen the build-up, allowing the hygienist to remove it from the tooth using hand tools and a suction.
A full mouth debridement is usually the first phase of periodontal treatment. After the debridement is complete, the dentist will examine the patient’s tissues and determine if more extensive cleaning is necessary.
Root planing and scaling cleans plaque and tartar build-up from below the gum line. The process is usually completed in two to four appointments, depending on the degree of build-up, the hygienist may elect to complete one to two quadrants of the mouth in a single appointment. When root planing and scaling is complete, the dentist will examine the tissues again and determine if additional periodontal treatments are necessary.
If the patient is willing to practice excellent home care techniques and maintain regular dental visits, additional periodontal treatment may not be necessary. Instead, as the tissues heal they will tighten around the teeth, protecting the roots from the formation of plaque and tartar. Maintaining this balance will ensure that additional treatments are necessary and that tooth loss will not result.
When good home care is practiced in conjunction with routine visits to the dental office, a dental cleaning can be a pleasant and relaxing experience. Maintaining good oral health is essential to full body wellness.