Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may notice stubborn plaque and tartar between your teeth and along your gum line. These deposits can only be removed by a dental professional using specialized tools. A professional teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a routine but important dental treatment which has several long-term benefits. Studies have shown that visiting your dentist for a cleaning can even reduce your risk of serious health complications including heart disease and stroke. Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr. and his team of hygienists perform a cleaning during each biannual dental exam at our Knoxville, TN, office.
Do I Really Need a Cleaning?
Many patients put off visits to the dentist because they are embarrassed about having waited too long between visits. No matter the condition of your oral health, we can meet your needs in a comfortable, stress-free environment. It is important to keep in mind that cleanings are also necessary for patients who already practice good oral hygiene. Our team uses specialized tools to access hard-to-reach areas and remove deposits that cannot be addressed with at-home care alone.
What to Expect during Your Visit
After ensuring that your teeth are healthy enough for a regular cleaning, our hygienist will begin begin by gently removing plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. Special attention will be paid to cleaning along the gum line. Throughout treatment, the hygienist will use a dental vacuum and irrigation system to remove debris and rinse plaque away. We will then show you the proper technique for flossing your teeth. To complete the cleaning, the hygienist will apply a gritty polishing paste with a high-powered toothbrush to keep your smile looking brilliant after your appointment. For most patients, cleanings can be completed in under an hour.
Benefits of a Biannual Cleaning
A regular professional teeth cleaning is a cost-effective, virtually painless, and quick way to long-lasting oral health. Treatment can help you:
- Reduce your risk of gum disease
- Treat cavities and other issues early on, minimizing the cost of restorative treatments
- Enhance the appearance of your smile
Cleanings can even promote better overall health. Reducing your risk of gum disease can protect against systemic health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
More Frequent Visits and Deep Cleanings
We may recommend more frequent visits if you have a condition or lifestyle that puts you at greater risk of oral health issues, such as:
- Tobacco use
- Cancer or history of chemotherapy
- Medications which cause dry mouth
Are You Due for a Cleaning?
Professional dental cleanings and exams are important for patients of all ages. Young patients especially can learn good hygiene habits during these visits. To schedule a cleaning for yourself or a member of your family, call our office at (865) 693-7631 or send our staff a message online.