About Dental Cleanings
While it is important to have a home oral care routine with daily brushing and flossing, the enamel can still build up plaque and tartar, which may lead to cavities, discolorations, infections, and other oral health problems. At White Lotus Dental in McKinney, TX, family and cosmetic dentist Dr. Karuna Peravali performs professional dental cleanings for her North Texas patients. Typically done twice a year, a cleaning at White Lotus Dental uses professional tools to carefully remove the tartar and plaque that have built up on the teeth. The cleaning (also known as a scale and polish or prophylaxis) smoothes and polishes the enamel to remove stains and brighten the smile. Dental examinations, which are usually performed once a year, are completed after the cleaning to check for signs of concern. A fluoride treatment may also be added after the dental cleaning for young patients with developing teeth or older patients with significant dental decay.
What to Expect
Dental cleanings are generally painless, but if a patient has sensitive teeth or gums a topical numbing cream can be used. If the patient has trouble getting through a dental cleaning due to anxiety or a strong gag reflex, mild sedation options are also available. A cleaning may begin with an ultrasonic instrument that helps to loosen plaque and tartar before the dentist switches to fine hand tools (scalers and curettes) to carefully scale or scrape the build up from the gumline and enamel. Once the deposits are removed from the teeth, the dentist can polish the teeth using a special toothpaste and tool. If needed, the dentist can go over good home oral care routines and help the patient with their brushing and flossing technique for better check-ups.
After the teeth are cleaned, the dentist may perform an oral exam to check for signs of oral cancer and gum disease. To keep their teeth smooth and healthy, patients should establish a home routine that includes brushing and flossing their teeth at least once a day. The dentist may offers suggestions or specific instructions, like a special mouthwash or toothpaste to treat the patient's specific concerns. Patients should be sure to schedule their next dental cleaning before leaving the office for 6 months or when their dentist recommends they return. Waiting too long between cleanings can lead to longer appointments and more invasive treatments.
Since a professional dental cleaning twice a year is considered a necessary preventative care procedure, most dental insurance carriers will cover 100% of the cost. Our office will check with each patient's insurance company to determine their coverage before billing the patient directly. Patients without dental insurance should ask about our financing options.
Plan Your Procedure
Clean and Polished
If you put off cleaning anything, whether it's your house, your car, or your teeth, the harder and longer the chore becomes. To get your healthiest smile, schedule a professional dental cleaning with your dentist at least twice a year. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar that have built up over time to help you avoid gum disease, cavities, and infections. A cleaning also gets your teeth whiter and brighter by polishing the enamel and removing stains. Getting a professional cleaning today to save yourself time and trouble later.