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Dental Scaling OR Teeth Cleaning

Oral prophylaxis is a method employed to clean teeth using specialized tools. There is a common myth that oral prophylaxis is not beneficial for our teeth; however, that is completely untrue. Oral prophylaxis is good for teeth as it keeps them clean by removing tartar and plaque. Oral prophylaxis is generally recommended for people with mild gum diseases. When a person has certain gum disease, the gums tend to loosen and create gaps between the gums and the teeth, which allows plaque and tartar to enter between the gum tissues. The tartar and plaque can cause several problems to the teeth and gums, such as cavities, gum diseases, tooth decay, etc. Oral prophylaxis is a simple dental procedure and requires a single sitting for around an hour. This can also make the teeth white, giving your smile a nice glow

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Scaling and root planning

Oral prophylaxis and root planning, also known as deep cleaning, is a non-surgical dental procedure performed to treat gum disease (periodontal disease) and maintain optimal gum health. It involves removing plaque, tartar (calculus), and bacterial toxins from the tooth surfaces and below the gumline.

The oral prophylaxis and root planning procedure typically includes the following steps:

1. Evaluation

The dentist or dental hygienist will examine your gums and measure the spaces between your teeth and gums (pocket depths) using a periodontal probe. This helps determine the severity of gum disease and the areas that require treatment.

2. Oral Prophylaxis

The first phase of the procedure is oral prophylaxis, which involves using special dental instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces, both above and below the gumline. Ultrasonic scalers or hand scalers may be used to remove the deposits effectively.

3. Root Planing

The second phase is root planing, where the dental professional smooths out the rough areas on the tooth roots. This process helps remove bacteria, toxins, and diseased cementum (a layer covering the root surface) and promotes the reattachment of the gum tissue to the tooth roots.

4. Antibacterial Rinse

An antimicrobial mouth rinse may be used to irrigate the treated areas and reduce bacterial activity.

5. Follow-up Care

Depending on the extent of gum disease, multiple appointments may be required to complete the oral prophylaxis and root planing process. The dentist or dental hygienist will provide instructions on proper oral hygiene techniques, including brushing, flossing, and the use of antimicrobial mouth rinses. They may also schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and assess the healing of your gums.

Oral prophylaxis and root planing is a thorough and effective treatment for early to moderate stages of gum disease. It helps remove the buildup of bacteria, plaque, and tartar that contribute to gum inflammation and the progression of periodontal disease. By eliminating these irritants, the gums can heal, and the pockets between the teeth and gums can shrink, reducing the risk of further gum damage and tooth loss. Post-treatment, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices and follow the dentist's instructions. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential to monitor your gum health and prevent the recurrence or progression of gum disease.

Oral prophylaxis and root planing can significantly improve gum health, reduce gum bleeding and inflammation, and help restore the overall health and stability of your teeth and supporting structures. If you have signs of gum disease, such as gum redness, swelling, bleeding, or persistent bad breath, it is important to consult with a dental professional who can assess your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include oral prophylaxis and root planing.

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Teeth scaling at home

Teeth scaling at home is the process of removing plaque and tartar at home without the help of a professional dentist. A dentist uses various specialized tools to remove tartar and plaque. However, some people prefer to clean their teeth themselves at home using a device known as the teeth scaler/plaque scraper. The dentist uses a teeth scaler to remove tartar and plaque. However, it is not completely safe to attempt teeth scaling at home without the help of a dentist as it may cause various dental problems if done incorrectly.

Teeth scaling side effects

Dental cleaning is overall a safe process. However, it contains a few side effects that the patient might have to deal with. Teeth cleaning can sometimes lead to swollen gums and needs medication. Improper teeth cleaning can cause bleeding gums and certain gum diseases. Inadequate teeth cleaning can result in the loosening of gums and tooth decay. Avoid smoking and chewing popcorn for a few days post the teeth cleaning process as it may cause damage to the gums. Teeth cleaning can sometimes lead to sensitive teeth."

You could damage your gum tissues which can lead to various gum diseases. It could also damage the enamel of the teeth which could cause sensitivity issues.  A dentist has the skills, training, and experience to precisely remove the tartar and plaque without causing any damage to the mouth.

Are teeth scaling painful?

Teeth scaling can cause mild discomfort to the patient but it is not a painful process. It depends on the patient and the pain threshold levels. Local anesthesia's injected into the gums to make them numb so that the patient does not feel the pain during the teeth scaling process. Post the teeth scaling process the patient might experience. Hence the dentist prescribes medication to relieve the pain or discomfort.

Precautions after teeth scaling

After the teeth scaling process the mouth stays numb for a few hours due to the local anesthetic. Dentists advise not to chew anything for a few hours post teeth scaling. A soft diet's advised for the first 2-3 days. Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and any other tobacco-related practices for 2-3 days post-teeth scaling. It is advised not to consume hot and spicy foods for a few days. Bleeding is common while brushing the teeth hence Dr. Deepak rudramoorthy advises brushing the teeth lightly using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Dentists recommend using wax-coated floss as non-wax-coated floss can be harsh on the gums and cause bleeding. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to avoid swelling and redness of the gums. Your gums can be sore and highly sensitive for a few days hence you need to take the pain medication before the anesthetic wears off. Take the antibiotics if prescribed any for the said number of days.

Scaling and root planning risks

Dental scaling and root planning have certain risks. It can induce harmful bacteria into your bloodstream and cause blood infection by letting harmful bacteria into your bloodstream. The procedure makes your gums more sensitive to bacterial infections which can cause severe gum problems and other health issues if not treated properly. Hence it is important to consume the antibiotics prescribed by your dentist to prevent any infection in the gums post the teeth scaling process. Your gums appear swollen and cause bleeding for a few days. Hence it is important to take proper care and make sure that the gums stay healthy. Some people might experience pain in their jawbones. In some cases, the patient might experience body fever post teeth scaling.

Is Dental scaling worth it?

Dental cleaning is the process of removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. This process requires a qualified professional dentist to maintain good oral health. It is a simple single-sitting process. Teeth cleaning is not painful and can give you great results. However, teeth cleaning can cause minor discomforts such as sensitivity and swollen gums for a few days post the process. It can be assumed that teeth cleaning is not necessary and it is not worth it as it causes certain discomforts.

How often would scaling be done?

For people with healthy gums and teeth a regular dental checkup and cleaning once or twice a year is enough. Regular brushing and flossing remove the plaque and prevents the formation of tartar. However, scaling and root planing are recommended at least twice a year for people with gum diseases. People with severe infections visit the dentist every 3-4 months for teeth scaling. The number of visits depends on the severity of the disease. It is important for the patient to consult with the dentist and formulate a proper treatment plan.

Is Dental scaling value for money?

However, teeth scaling is totally worth the time and money you spend as it ensures good oral health by removing unwanted substances from your mouth and prevents any future gum and teeth problems. Though there are certain discomforts, they exist only for a few days, and with proper medication and care the patient can overcome the discomfort and have great dental hygiene.

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