Phone: 616-363-3821
       
 
 
 

Cleanings

The purpose of dental cleanings is to either prevent or control gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is the most common cause of bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss. Gum disease is a mouth infection caused by bacteria that destroy the gums and jawbone. Some studies link these bacteria with medical problems in other parts of the body. Most gum disease can be prevented or controlled by frequently cleaning the bacteria from the teeth. This is accomplished through brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings.

There are four different types of dental cleanings, each with its own purpose, instruments, technique, and time requirements. Dental hygienists are trained to render these cleanings based on the doctor’s diagnosis of the patient’s specific type of gum disease. Patients may receive any or all of these types of cleanings at some time in their lifetime depending on their circumstances.

Preventive Cleaning: This cleaning is for patients who have healthy gums. It is not for patients with periodontitis (infected gum pockets and bone loss). During this cleaning, plaque, tartar, and stain are removed from above the gumline. This is performed on a 3-6 month basis depending on the patient’s rate of tartar formation. This typically requires a 60 minute appointment. The purpose of this cleaning is to prevent gum disease.

Periodontal Scaling and Root Debridement: This cleaning is for patients who have active periodontitis (infected gum pockets and bone loss), with tartar on the teeth and roots both above and below the gumline. This is a special non-surgical treatment for gum disease that removes plaque, tartar, stain, and an infected germ layer on the teeth. This treatment requires special instruments and training. Often some type of numbing is used, either a topical paint-on type using a Q-Tip, a gel that is put in the gum pocket, or a local anesthetic injection. Depending on the extent and severity of the gum disease, this treatment can take 2-6 appointments, each lasting 1-2 hours. Re-treatment is sometimes necessary every few years. The purpose of this treatment is to control gum disease. Because of the special skills, training, instrumentation, and time requirements, this treatment requires a higher fee than a Preventive Cleaning.

Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning: This cleaning is for patients who have stable periodontitis (history of infected gum pockets and bone loss). This is a special type of cleaning where plaque, tartar, and stain are removed from the teeth and roots both above and below the gumline. The purpose of this cleaning is to help control gum disease. This cleaning is typically performed on a 3-month basis and requires a 60-90 minute appointment. The purpose of the 3-month frequency is to keep up with the bacteria that causes gum disease. It takes the germs about 3-months to re-group and cause a new infection. You cannot reach these below gum areas with brushing and flossing, and therefore they need to be cleaned professionally. Because of the special skills, training, instrumentation, and time requirements, this procedure requires a higher fee than a Preventive Cleaning.

Diagnostic Cleaning: This cleaning is for patients who have so much tartar on their teeth it is impossible to accurately diagnose their level of gum disease. The purpose of this cleaning is to remove bulk amounts of tartar in order to better see the gums and measure the gum pocket depths. It is not intended to completely remove all of the tartar nor treat the gum disease. This cleaning typically takes 1-2 hours. After this cleaning is completed, the gum disease can be diagnosed and treatment can be planned.

 

 
3303 Grand Ridge Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: 616-363-3821