3607 Perkiomen Avenue
Reading, PA 19606
Kusienski, Margot T D.D.S.
100 Highlands Dr # 302
Lititz, PA, 17543-7692
Lori Cockley, D.D.S. DMD PC
418 West King St PO BOx 588
East Berlin, PA, 17316
Dr. Anthony Montagnese, D.D.S. DMD PC
4725 McKnight Road Suite 201
Pittsburgh , PA, 15220
Dr. Raj Faldu, DMD
283 Colwyn Terrace West
Chester, PA, 19380
Professional teeth cleaning is known as prophylaxis treatment, or "prophy" for short. That means that it is preventative. In a cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed from the surface of your teeth. Dental plaque and tartar can lead to all sorts of dental problems, including tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
The teeth cleaning procedure is most often performed by a hygienist. Tooth scaling and tooth polishing will remove debris from your teeth, leaving them clean and shiny. If you have swollen gums or other signs of periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend a full periodontal cleaning. These intensive cleanings don't just clean off the visible part of your teeth; they clean the teeth below the gum line.
A regular dental hygiene cleaning will help minimize your chances of developing tooth problems. What's more, dental hygiene appointments are accompanied by dental exams. Your dentist will check all of your teeth, looking for any indications of developing problems.
Dental x-rays also help your dentist diagnose any new dental problems. Dentists generally advise patients to get x-rays approximately once every two years. But as with anything, your dentist will advise what's best for you.
No two of us are alike. We all have our own smiles, speech patterns, eye and hair colorings. But we're just now beginning to learn how unique our mouth environments really are. Turns out, they're as distinctively different as fingerprints.
One patient can go a year between checkups, while another might need to return as often as every six weeks for teeth cleaning. The difference? The unique bacterial/chemical mix of each person's mouth. Professionally we call these differences "individualization."
"Individualization" accounts for the fact that some mouths are genetically and chemically programmed to create tartar buildups, while others barely produce tartar at all. These genetic "signatures" even extend to tooth decay. There are patients who - despite their best efforts - appear cavity susceptible.
Mouths, like people, are affected by years as well as by genes. If you're over 60, your oral chemistry is changing - and thorough examinations of gums and salivary glands can be a lifesaving early detector of oral cancer or other disease.
Patients over 55 develop twice as many cavities as children do. Many times that's because medications seniors take reduce saliva flow and dry the mouth - an open invitation for tooth decay and periodontal disease.
What should you expect from a visit to your dental hygienist? Along with your dental cleaning you may need professional scaling and root planing to remove harmful plaque and calculus deposits. He or she may also record the depths of your periodontal pockets (that space between your teeth and gums where decay and periodontal disease flourish).
Keeping track of you is a key part of the hygienist's job. It includes keeping your dental chart and health history current, making preliminary oral inspections, and creating tooth impressions.
Your hygienist is also an educator - someone who can teach you preventive dentistry skills - brushing and flossing techniques that make for healthy, trouble-free gums and teeth. Together, you two can make an unbeatable team!