A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most simple cleanings or prophylaxis take only between 35 and 45 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup for patients not at high risk for decay or periodontal disease. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling and polishing.
Scaling: This is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar.
Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.