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Cleanings

Teeth Cleanings Downtown Los Angeles

There’s nothing quite like a smile that’s bright, fresh, and clean. A significant way for you to achieve a fresher smile and maintain good oral health is to have routine dental exams and cleanings. While a daily regimen of brushing is undoubtedly important, professional cleanings are able to clean teeth more thoroughly and effectively. They can also work to provide additional benefits to a smile, as they improve aesthetics and ward off the instigators of gum disease.

What Dental Factors Do Cleanings Address?

Also called prophylaxis, dental cleanings set out to remove two main things, plaque and tartar. What are they exactly? Well, by understanding what these factors are all about, you are able to more clearly realize how important and instrumental cleanings can be.

Plaque

A sticky, near colorless film that consists of bacteria and builds up on your teeth, making them feel icky or fuzzy if it accumulates. Plaque is constantly forming on the teeth. The bacteria in plaque combines with sugars in foods and then forms acids.

These acids can break down enamel and cause tooth decay. If plaque builds up along the gumline, it can lead to gum inflammation which can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Gingivitis is the earlier form of the disease, where gums become swollen and are prone to bleed. When gingivitis is not addressed through proper oral hygiene and cleaning, it can develop into periodontitis and result in tooth loss.

Although everyone experiences plaque on a regular basis, it’s the lack of removal through brushing and cleaning that can lead to oral health issues and the development of tartar.

Tartar

Also referred to as calculus, tartar is essentially plaque that has hardened and mineralized. When plaque has been left unremoved, it can combine with saliva and form into a hard deposit. As this deposit grows, bacteria is able to thrive on it. This opens the door for gum disease to set in.

Unlike plaque, which can be addressed through daily brushing and flossing, once tartar forms, it will require dentist or hygienist to remove it.

Additional Benefits of Teeth Cleaning

Along with removing plaque and tartar which can contribute to oral health issues, cleanings can provide other value benefits. These advantages can include:

  • Fresher breath

  • Brighter teeth through the removal of built-up stains

  • Early detection of dental problems

How Are They Performed?

After assessing the condition of the teeth, the patient reclines in a comfortable dental chair and cleanings are performed using instruments for different functions. In general, an ultrasonic instrument is first used to loosen tartar through vibrations. Debris is washed away by a cool mists of water.

Once the large tartar pieces are disengaged, tools called curettes or scalers are then used to remove plaque and smaller tartar deposits. The next part of the cleaning process involves a rotary handpiece that polishes the teeth. The device features a soft rubber tip that, with the aid of a flavored paste, is designed to make teeth shiny and smooth.

Lastly, using trays, a brief fluoride treatment may be given in order to strengthen and protect teeth, and aid in the fight against tooth decay.

Do They Hurt?

Most patients find that regular cleanings do not cause them any pain. Numbing agents work to prevent discomfort. The staff at Samaritan Dental Arts takes great care in making sure that patients remain in comfort and ease during the cleaning process.

However, if pain is experienced, it’s best to make the dentist or hygienist aware of its occurrence. Extremely sensitive teeth or sore gums can possibly be the source of the problem, and the anesthetic may need to be increased. In any case, the discomfort should be brought to light so that the treatment will be adjusted.

How Long Do They Take?

On average, teeth cleanings can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the state of oral hygiene. In general, it’s often recommended that patients get these cleanings twice a year, along with routine dental exams. However, specific instructions will be provided by your dentist after they have assessed your unique condition and needs.

Freshen Up Your Smile With a Cleaning

With regular teeth cleanings, your smile can be whiter, feel fresher, and most importantly, it can be healthier. If you are looking to give your smile a spruce-up, request an appointment at our Los Angeles dental office today. Dr. Alan Zabolian and his skilled staff will tailor fit a treatment plan and oral hygiene regimen to your needs, as well as provide the high-standard of care that can keep you smiling.

  Dr. Alan Zabolian is a proud member of  
  • American Dental Association
  • California Dental Association logo
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  • Academy of General Dentistry
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