The bacterial plaque that builds up on our teeth will harden over time as the minerals in our saliva precipitate out. The result is calculus, sometimes called “tartar”, a hard deposit that contains much of the same bacterial toxins as the plaque it was formed from.
Everyone builds up calculus. Failure to remove the normal buildup from the teeth allows gingivitis and periodontitis (gum inflammation and infection) to occur. And the only way to remove this calculus is with professional dental cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
A professional dental cleaning usually involves several steps. First, we measure the depth of the periodontal “pockets” the space between the teeth and the gums. Next we will remove the bulk of the material, often with ultrasonic or piezoelectric instruments that use a spray coolant. We do the fine “scaling” and “root planning” with precise hand instruments. Then we will polish the teeth to remain residual stain and protein film, and apply a special fluoride gel or foam to the freshly exposed surface. This fluoride treatment helps to protect the teeth from decay and helps to prevent sensitivity.
Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime.