What is proper dental hygiene?

Proper dental hygiene starts at home with brushing and flossing. Additionally, you need to visit the dental office for teeth cleaning, x-rays, and examinations. In some cases, further treatments may be necessary, but we can discuss those at a later time.

What can happen if I don't practice good dental hygiene?

If you don't practice good dental hygiene, you may need to undergo more invasive procedures like scaling and root planing, or periodontal treatment. These procedures are necessary if there's been a long time since your last cleaning or if there's been destruction of the bone underneath. These conditions can be managed, but if left untreated, they can cause serious problems.

What are the main duties of a dental hygienist?

The main duties of a dental hygienist vary based on the needs of the dentist. They can assist in operations, take x-rays, complete fillings, administer anesthetics, perform deep cleanings and sealants, among other tasks. Essentially, a dental hygienist can do everything in the office except drill out for teeth.

What is involved in a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning involves a dental hygienist taking probe readings, which serve as a roadmap for the cleaning process. Instrumentation is then used to clean the teeth, which sometimes involves an ultrasonic device. The procedure typically concludes with polishing, flossing, and a fluoride treatment.

What kind of tools do dental hygienists use?

Dental hygienists use a variety of tools depending on the patient's needs. For cases with a lot of tartar buildup, an ultrasonic device is often used. This device uses vibration to break down the tartar, which is then removed with other tools.

Does a hygienist's teeth cleaning usually hurt?

Generally, teeth cleaning does not cause pain. Any discomfort experienced is usually due to inflammation from improper brushing and flossing. The body's healing response, rather than the cleaning process itself, often causes the discomfort.

How long should a typical dental cleaning take?

A typical dental cleaning can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on whether an exam is needed. The time spent with the hygienist usually ranges from about 45 minutes to an hour.

Is it necessary to do anything after a dental cleaning?

Yes. After a dental cleaning, it's important to maintain good dental hygiene practices at home. This includes regular brushing and flossing, and using any recommended products.

Why is deep cleaning by a dental hygienist necessary?

Deep cleaning is necessary when there is significant plaque, bacteria, and toxins on the root surfaces, which can destroy bone and potentially cause tooth loss if not addressed.

How should I schedule a dental hygiene appointment?

First, find a dental office that suits your needs. This can involve reading online reviews and speaking with the office staff to understand the dentist's philosophy. Once you've found a good fit, schedule an initial exam. Please note that most dental offices do not perform a cleaning during this initial visit. This is to assess your needs and ensure you are comfortable with the proposed treatment plan.

If we've answered all of your questions, please give us a call at Integrity Dental. You can reach us at (719) 745-5565. Any of our front office staff can assist you and direct your call as needed. If you have questions for a hygienist, we'd be more than happy to help.