Dental cleanings should be done routinely, but depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are, you may need more advanced techniques. There are three different kinds of cleaning: prophylaxis, scaling, and gross debridement.
Prophylaxis is routine cleaning done for mostly healthy patients who attend appointments regularly. This process involves cleaning plaque from teeth and removing tartar from hard to reach places. This procedure is very common and should be done regularly for the best results.
Root Scaling and Planing is a procedure reserved for patients who have advanced gum disease or are at risk of contracting gum disease. This process involves removing all plaque and tartar from the roots of the teeth underneath the gum line. This gives your teeth the opportunity to heal and reverse your gum disease with the proper aftercare.
During a Gross Debridement treatment, your dentist will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth before a cleaning. This treatment is done if a patient has not received a dental cleaning in a long time and has build-up around and in-between teeth.