dental cleaning tools with model teethNot all dental cleaning are the same. As a result, there are different teeth cleaning costs (or oral health investments).  How extensive the teeth cleaning, and the associated costs all depends on your oral health. 

For the most part, your cleanings are preventive in nature.  That means they’re designed to help you prevent any development of disease and maintain the current level of wellness that you already have. If there are minor infections, like gingivitis, a preventive cleaning can help you establish a healthy environment where you can easily reverse the early signs of infection. 

What is a Teeth Cleaning?

Teeth cleanings are one of the purposes of your regular dental checkup visits with your Ottawa dental clinic. During the appointment, a dental hygienist will use specialized tools called a dental scaler or ultrasonic handpiece,  to safely and thoroughly remove soft and calcified buildup off of your teeth. 

Even if you’re brushing and flossing every day, you’ll have areas of buildup that accumulate between your dental cleaning appointments. Usually, those surfaces tend to be right along the gum lines, just under the edges of your gums, between teeth, or around fixed restorations / appliances like retainers or bridges. 

Types of Teeth Cleanings

Dental cleanings are divided out into different categories, depending on your current and past oral health. If there’s extensive buildup or evidence of periodontal disease, the cleaning is conducted differently than one someone would get during a regular checkup. 

Preventative Maintenance — This is your regular dental visit cleaning. It involves removing the buildup that’s accumulated since your last checkup, polishing off stain, and a review of preventative care strategies. 

Scaling and Root Planing / “Deep Cleaning” — If you have periodontal disease, your hygienist/dentist will recommend a series of deep cleanings. Usually these visits are sectioned into two or more appointments, with half of your mouth being cleaned at one time. Deep cleanings are also frequently done with a topical or local anesthetic, to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the process. 

These cleanings are essential to combating periodontal disease, which is an infection down under the gum tissues against the roots of your teeth. They remove the buildup and bacteria that aren’t reachable with a home cleanings due to deep pockets around your teeth. 

Periodontal Maintenance — After your deep cleanings are completed, you’ll need to have more frequent cleanings (usually about every 3-4 months) to avoid the relapse of periodontal disease, or to simply maintain the current status of your dental health. Your overall appointment will be similar to what you might expect during your previous cleaning, aside from it taking place more frequently. 

What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?

Professional teeth cleanings are usually scheduled with our dental hygienist. During the visit you’ll have tartar cleaned off, plaque scaled away, your teeth polished, and bone levels measured. Additional procedures like oral cancer screenings, X-rays, etc. are usually combined into this appointment, even though they’re not an actual part of your cleaning. 

Dental Cleaning Procedure (Step-by-Step)

Health History Update — A brief review of your medical history will make us aware of any recent medication changes, hospitalizations, diagnosis, etc.

Overview of Dental Status — Before starting the cleaning, your dental hygienist will make sure there are no obvious problems with your teeth and surrounding tissues.

Periodontal Exam — The attachment levels of your gum and bone are measured around each tooth at six specific points. 

Scaling — Your dental hygienist will use a hand instrument or ultrasonic scaler to lift away tartar and plaque. 

Polish — A soft rubber cup and fine-grit paste will buff away your surface stains and any residual plaque if necessary.

Finally, any adjunctive therapies like fluoride treatments can be completed at the completion of your dental cleaning procedure. 

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

Your teeth and gums can be maintained on your own for several months, but we can’t actually give you an answer until we take readings and assess your gum health.  The timeline is specific and tailored to your needs. Many people fall in the 6-9 month timeline if they are properly maintained.  

Individuals with gum disease or poor oral hygiene usually need more frequent cleanings, up to 3-4 times per year. 

How Much do Teeth Cleanings Cost?

Your oral health care appointments are more affordable the more preventative that they are. As cleanings become more lengthy due to gum disease, the prices are adjusted accordingly. It’s always best to try to prevent gum disease and bone loss by scheduling a preventative cleaning regularly. 

Where to Get Teeth Cleanings in Ottawa, ON

For professional teeth cleanings in Ottawa, call Parkdale Dental Centre! Dr. Cristin McCauley and her team offer family-friendly dental services for people of all ages, no matter what their smiles have been through in the past. 

If you’re due (or past due) for a dental cleaning, we’re here to help you get your oral health back on track. Contact us today.