Dental Cleaning (Dental Prophylaxis)
Dental cleanings at Duda Dental are performed by a Licensed Dental Hygienist. The goal of dental cleaning is to remove:
Calculus (also known as tartar...a hardened plaque that adheres to the tooth above and below the gum line)
Plaque (a clear gelatinous film of bacteria "biofilm" that forms on the surface of the tooth every 24 hours and can cause tooth decay and gum (periodontal) disease, and
Stains, which accumulate on the teeth over time.
Your Hygienist may use an ultrasonic instrument to help loosen the larger hardened deposits of tartar (calculus). In addition to the mild vibration, the ultrasonic instrument also sprays cool water in order to wash away the loosened particles.
After the larger pieces of calculus ( tartar) are removed, handheld instruments are used to remove smaller particles of calculus as well as smooth the tooth surfaces. After the removal of calculus and plaque, your Hygienist will polish your teeth using a slow-speed polishing handpiece and a mild abrasive material.
Once the cleaning session is completed, Dr Duda will perform a final oral exam as well as review the Hygienist’s findings.
Most patients report that their routine tooth cleaning is painless, though some may find the ultrasonic instrument causes a feeling of pressure, but not discomfort. If you experience discomfort while your teeth are being cleaned, please inform your Hygienist as they can offer alternative methods to make your cleaning session more enjoyable.
Your Hygienist will perform an initial examination at the beginning of the appointment which will include: a visual oral cancer screening; a periodontal screening which measures the depth of the bone from the top of the gums; they will check for any tooth movement and premature striking the from opposing teeth; they will also check for tooth decay and examine existing restorations to ensure that they are not leaking. It’s important to understand that your Hygienist is performing an examination throughout the entire Prophylaxis appointment.
Dr. Duda’s patients generally are on a 3, 4, 6, or 12 month recall for Dental Prophylaxis depending upon their dental needs. Many patients like to set their appointment up ahead of time, which works well for the patient who desires a specific time of day, others prefer to appoint closer to their due date. We send out reminder cards for the preset appointment. Aditionally we will call to remind you of your appointment the day before.
Your personal home care is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth and beautiful smile! We encourage you to eat well, reduce sugary drink and snacks, and properly maintain your oral health. Our staff is commited to educating you regarding good oral home care techniques.
Toothbrushing: Brushing your teeth ant least twice daily is recommended. Using a soft bristled tooth brush, angle the bristles at a 45 degree into the gum line and gently brush your teeth and gums with a small circular motion.
Flossing: Flossing is recommended at least once a day. By forming a C shape with the floss between the teeth, rub each surface until it is squeaky clean.
Additional Preventative Treatment
We provide in office fluoride varnish for all children under the age of 18, as well as adults that have a high caries (decay) index. Additionally, can dispense or prescribe an at home daily treatment if needed.
Why seal teeth? Over the past many years, numerous materials and techniques have been developed to seal the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the teeth. Often, these procedures are necessary because some teeth have defective occlusal surfaces when they erupt into the mouth, and food debris and microorganisms penetrate into the grooves on the teeth during eating. Patients cannot clean these areas effectively, and dental decay (cavities) occurs frequently.
Do all teeth need to be sealed? Usually only the back (posterior) teeth requires sealing. We cannot tell which individual teeth require sealing, because incomplete fusion of the teeth often leaves a nearly microscopic entry from the enamel outside the tooth into the softer dentin inside. Therefore, we suggest that all suspect posterior teeth and selected anterior teeth be sealed. A few teeth that do not require sealing may be inadvertently sealed because it is impossible to select defective from non-defective teeth at an early age.
Will all decay be prevented? Sealants placed as close to the eruption time of the teeth as possible prevent the majority of decay on the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the teeth. However, flossing, brushing, and routine fluoride therapy are required to prevent decay on other surfaces of the teeth. In the presence of poor oral hygiene, decay may begin between the teeth, since sealants cannot be placed on these surfaces.
Cost? The cost for sealing a tooth with plastic is about one-third the cost of filling (restoring) the tooth in the event of decay. Sealants do not require anesthetic or cutting away tooth structure.
How long do sealants last? Studies show sealants last many years. However, occasional resealing may be required.