Teeth cleaning, as our patients’ say, is just one part of an Oral Health Exam at Archer Dental. This is preventive healthcare because having a clean and healthy mouth works to prevent disease. It’s a fact that if you let plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth, you’re going to get cavities. If you’ve skipped routine check-ups in the past, then you might already have dental caries, and they’re only going to get worse. Medical studies link oral health to general health, most noticeably in bone loss, cardiovascular disease, heart failure and cancer.
Teeth cleaning is the main ingredient in a routine dental examination at Archer Dental. Painless and efficient, a professional teeth cleaning treatment is proven to be effective at stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease. A typical cleaning takes about forty minutes but can expand in length and intensity as the situation requires. Among the benefits of choosing Archer Dental is our high quality health care, our experienced staff, and the close proximity of experienced dentists who are able to give opinions and suggest treatments for issues detected in the oral health exam that generally follows the cleaning.
What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning at Archer Dental?
First things first, Archer Dental’s Dental Hygienists will need to know about you and your medical history. They’ll ask if this is your first appointment with Archer Dental and if you have been to this location before? They’ll either make a new file or find your previous records. Then they’ll ask about any changes in your health such as new medications, diabetes, arthritis, or pregnancy.
Dental hygiene, also referred to as ‘a cleaning,’ removes plaque, tartar and food and tobacco stains to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing and flossing stops plaque build-up and prevents the grimy substance from hardening into tartar. Hard deposits of tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office. As you relax and watch Netflix or listen to music on your own device, our dental hygienists will get busy with their own gadgets.
Hand Scalers – They have all the gear necessary to scrape away the tartar on your teeth. During your cleaning, you’ll see the hygienists use a small mirror on a bent stick to guide their way around your mouth. The dental hygienist uses a hand scaler to scrape away plaque and tartar around your gum line, as well as in between your teeth. You’ll hear scraping sounds and feel a blade shaving away at your teeth, but this is all entirely normal. The only discomfort is the prodding, strange noises, and the occasional jaw ache. The more tartar they find on your teeth, the more time they’ll need to scrape.
Power Scalers – Similar to hand scalers in their task, power scalers use ultrasonic waves to pull away plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth. These instruments use energetic vibrations to crush and remove calcified deposits. They also create shockwaves that disrupt bacterial cells. Use of these tools includes washing and flushing the pockets and any exposed root surfaces with water. This technologically advanced dental power tool has a turbines which accelerates and vibrate a water jet to break down plaque and tartar on your teeth. This saves the hygienist the energy of having to manually scrape and often results in a deeper clean. For patients who’re afraid of pain, ultrasonic scalers prove to be gentler than hand scalers and as such they provide a more comfortable dental experience. Ultrasonic cleaning takes about one-third less time as compared to hand scaling. It’s also possible to remove deposits of plaque and tartar from under the gum line by using an extremely small tip on an ultrasonic unit, which can cause less discomfort and result in a deeper and better cleaning. Some hygienists prefer to use the ultrasonic scaler first, and then any stubborn areas are scaled by hand.
Expert flossing – No matter how good you are with a toothbrush, flossing your teeth with proper dental floss is the only way to remove plaque between your teeth and keep tartar out of these hard-to-reach areas. Of course you floss and rinse daily. Of course you use an antiseptic mouthwash to help kill bacteria that cause plaque. But regardless of whether you floss regularly at home or not, nothing beats a professional flossing session. Your dental hygienist can get deep between your teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums. If you already notice that your gums bleed when flossing you should inform your dental hygienist of this fact in the information gathering session that precedes the cleaning as listed above.
Tooth Polishing – Archer Dental’s team will also give your teeth a smooth and shiny finish using a tooth polisher with a spinning head and slightly abrasive paste. After your teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist brushes them with this high-powered electric brush. The polishing eliminates any residue that may have been previously missed and will make your teeth feel smoother. A sleeker surface also means that plaque will not collect as readily in the days and weeks that follow. Tooth polishing is a very old dental treatment. It was mentioned in both Greek and Roman writings. Pierre Fauchard, the Father of Modern Dentistry re-introduced the procedure for removal of dental stains with the use of finely ground coral, egg shells, or salt as the abrasive. Nowadays the paste is more scientifically advanced, but the idea remains the same.
X-Rays – Dental X-rays are pictures of your teeth made with low levels of radiation harnessed to capture black & white images of the interior of your mouth, your teeth and gums. Dentists at Archer Dental will use the photos to evaluate your oral health. The radiography helps identify problems like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth. Not everyone needs X-rays however, and adults without any apparent dental issues do not need regular dental X-rays.
Tooth Sensitivity – Tooth sensitivity is a very common concern by patients at the dental office. Symptoms often arise after drinking hot or cold drinks or eating certain foods and sweets. Sensitivity can be treated with fluoride. Your hygienist will often suggest using a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth. Patients with low-tolerance for pain can ask dental hygienists to administer a local anesthetic. For excessive tartar buildup or advanced cases of periodontal disease, a more thorough cleaning than usual is sometimes needed and this can sometimes cause pain and bleeding, so a local anesthetic could be administered in these cases.
Archer Dental’s Hygienist Team
Archer Dental prides itself on having one of the best in-house Dental Hygienist training and development programs. Our team’s meticulous attention to detail and communication skills leaves patients feeling at ease during even the most tedious procedures. Your dental hygienist may also provide an oral cancer screening, fluoride to resist decay, scaling, polishing as we have listed above. They work with patients one-on-one to develop proper brushing and flossing techniques, provide nutrition counselling and explain treatment options in such a way as to make you feel comfortable and confident about yourself and your shiny new smile.
Next, you rinse out your mouth to get rid of any debris. Your dental hygienist will usually give you a rinse that contains liquid fluoride.
Archer Dental Fluoride Treatment
The last step of the cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used to protect teeth and will help fight against cavities for several months into the future.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that builds strong teeth and prevents cavities. It’s been an essential oral health treatment for decades. Fluoride supports healthy tooth enamel and fights the bacteria that harm teeth and gums. Tooth enamel is the outer protective layer of each tooth. Some Archer Dental locations have more than one flavour available and so your dental hygienist may ask you what flavor you like best. Fluoride is especially helpful if you’re at high risk of developing dental caries, or cavities.
After your exam, the dentist or hygienist will discuss your oral health, including your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems, and preventive measures you can take to improve and protect your oral health. The dentist or hygienist will also recommend when to return for a follow-up visit.
Brushing and flossing at home are essential, but to ensure teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean, you should schedule regular check-ups with your dentist and annual dental cleanings with your dental hygienist.