We use ultrasonic cleaning at Berkeley Smile Studio because we feel it is a superior way to clean teeth and keep them healthy. Rather than manually scaling your teeth, we use a device that vibrates at an extremely high frequency for effective and delicate cleaning of your teeth. The pulsating movements cause plaque and tartar to fall off your teeth and then we rinse them away with a water tip directly attached to the scaler.
Our ultrasonic cleaning device also helps to eliminate tartar and a hard, calcified type of tartar called calculus. Before ultrasonic cleaning became mainstream, dentists had to scrape plaque and tartar manually. This sometimes resulted in damage to the patient’s tooth enamel.
Ultrasonic cleaning most effective way to treat gum disease
If you already have gum disease, ultrasonic cleaning reaches plaque and calculus deposits beneath the gum line in a way that hand scraping cannot achieve. We also prefer this method because it doesn’t put any physical pressure on the teeth. This is important for people who have gingivitis because they’re already prone to loosened teeth and don’t need to worry about having a tooth accidentally dislodged at the dentist.
Patients who have put off dental cleanings will be happy to know that they’re now easy and painless.
More commonly known as a "cleaning", a prophylaxis is most often performed by a dental hygienist, however, dentists are fully trained to perform preventative cleanings as well.
A prophylaxis procedure includes measuring the level of plaque build-up and using a special tool to measure “pocket-depth”, meaning how closely are the gums attached to the teeth. As plaque builds up, it wedges its way between the gum tissue and your teeth forming a “pocket”. Your hygienist will be removing the plaque and tartar buildup as well as polishing your teeth to remove any staining. Polishing also smoothes your teeth and removes rough spots that might attract bacteria.
Your dental hygienist is able to reach and clean areas of the tooth surface, sometimes even below the gum line that you are not able to reach at home even with the best home care routine. This is why we recommend undergoing prophylaxis every six months.
If you’re concerned you could have gum disease or just want to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, speak to your dentist about prophylaxis treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the primary method for treating periodontal (gum) disease. When plaque and tartar have built up at a greater depth than a preventative cleaning can tackle, your dental hygienist will recommend a scaling and root planing procedure. This means that they will be using specially-designed dental tools to remove the build-up below the gum line that is preventing the gum tissue from being tightly attached to the root surface of your tooth. Removing the build-up allows the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth thereby preventing further contamination from the bacteria and halting further damage to your teeth and bone.
In most cases, a local anesthetic is used during the procedure and you may experience some discomfort following. Your hygienist will give you suggestions for home care to aide in the healing process. Once the process is complete, your dentist will determine if additional periodontal surgery is required.