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dental-cleanningA dental cleaning(adult/child prophylaxis) is a term used for a procedure performed on patients with healthy gum tissue or with different degrees of gingival inflammation(gingivitis). It is defined as “removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures” and is intended to help the patient maintain a healthy mouth. Usually the teeth are scaled (remove hard deposits), polished (brush the teeth) to remove soft plaque and stains. But there are different kinds of “dental cleaning” as per popular concept.

A patient with Periodontal disease, which is a disease of the tooth supporting tissues (bone, periodontal ligament and gum) requires other levels of cleaning called “deep cleanings”, or scaling and root planning as defined in medical terms.

Dental education.

Periodontal Disease, also known as Periodontitis and Pyorrhea, is a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the periodontium, i.e., the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around one tooth or some teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.

Periodontitis is caused by microorganisms that adhere to and grow on the tooth’s surfaces, along with an aggressive immune response against these microorganisms. A diagnosis of periodontitis is established by inspecting the gingival tissues(gum) around the teeth with a probe and by examining the patient’s X-ray (i.e., a radiographic examination), to determine the amount of bone loss around the teeth. Scaling and root planing is the recommended treatment for patients with Periodontitis.

The mouth is divided in four quadrants and usually two of them are treated in one visit and the other two in another visit, as the patient needs to be anesthetized for the procedure and it is not recommended to have the whole mouht completely numb, even though it is done in some cases. Scaling and root planing involves removing calculus build up from the surfaces of the tooth, including the root, and eliminating the infected tissue from the outtermost tissue of the radicular portion of the tooth.

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