You know that regular dental cleanings are important- but you might not know that one of the most important reasons for having your Salinas Teeth Cleaning is due to plaque. Plaque is a whitish bacterial film that can cover your teeth and is a leading cause of gum disease. When untreated, gum pockets can form between the teeth and the gums. Inside of these pockets, plaque hardens and turns into tartar, which is also referred to as calculus. Although gum disease is the most common result of plaque and tartar, cavities and tooth loss are also possible results of the buildup.
Plaque buildup can be prevented by brushing and flossing daily, staying away from sugary and sticky foods, and getting biannual dental Salinas Teeth Cleanings. Once tartar forms, however, removal requires the help of a dental professional. Removing tartar is done through a process called scaling, in which your dentist or hygienist uses tools to remove both tartar and plaque that has built up above and below the gumline. During a scaling treatment, your dentist or hygienist might use a hand-held scaler or a power scaler to assist in removing buildup. While both tools are effective in removing tartar and plaque, each has its own unique processes and benefits. Read on to find out more about each type of scaling tool.
Hand-held scalers are often used by dental hygienists to remove tartar from the pockets between the gums and the teeth. This tool requires the hygienist to manipulate and move the scaler around the teeth and pockets to thoroughly cleanse away plaque. Hand-held scalers are gentle on the tooth’s surface, which make this tool ideal for people with sensitive teeth or veneers. Furthermore, hand-held scalers are easy to use on teeth that have been affected by demineralization or are otherwise vulnerable. Lastly, because hand-held scaling is done manually, it is safe for people with pacemakers and other medical conditions.
Power scalers rely on the energy made by ultrasonic vibrations to get rid of tartar and plaque. The vibrations crush the hard tartar buildup left in pockets and help to remove it. Power scalers are also able to disrupt bacterial growth because of the shockwaves sent through the pockets. While hand-held scalers and power scalers are equally effective in removing plaque from shallow pockets, power scalers have a significant advantage when used to treat deeper pockets. The narrow tip of a power scaler can reach further than hand-held scalers, making them able to reach deeper into periodontal pockets. Power scalers are especially effective in Salinas Teeth Cleaning the surfaces of roots and other hard to reach areas. Power scalers are known to be quicker and more comfortable than their hand-held counterparts.
Both hand-held and power scalers are greatly effective in removing plaque and tartar and in helping to restore your oral health. In many cases, your dentist or hygienist might use both hand-held scaling and power scaling together to yield the very best results for your mouth. Regardless of which tools are used, removing buildup from gum pockets is critical to keeping your teeth and gums looking and feeling great.
To learn more about scaling or any other dental treatments, contact Dr. Washburn’s office for an appointment today.