Diablo Creek Dentistry

Family Dentistry - Walnut Creek, CA

Oral Exam

A Dental Cleaning, Also Known as a Dental Prophylaxis or Teeth Cleaning

A dental hygiene appointment typically entails a checkup and cleaning for most patients. Overall, a dental cleaning is a quick and painless procedure that is an important part of maintaining good oral health.

The hygienist will first use a small mirror to examine the teeth and gums during a dental cleaning. They will then use a scaler tool to remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth, paying particular attention to the areas around the gum line. Once all the plaque and tartar have been removed, the hygienist will use a polishing tool to smooth the surfaces of the teeth and make them feel clean. They may also apply fluoride to the teeth to help prevent cavities.

Who are dental cleanings for?

Dental cleanings are generally recommended for all ages, regardless of age or oral health.

How long do dental cleanings take?

Most dental cleanings last about 45 minutes.

What is Tooth Scaling?

Tartar is plaque that has had time to harden and is that white (sometimes yellow) substance found at the base of the tooth just above the gumline. Tartar is usually not removed with standard brushing and flossing and usually requires coming in to see us for proper and thorough removal.

Tooth scaling is a service that involves using a tool that is specifically designed to break-apart and remove tartar. We gently run the tooth scaling tool along the front and back surfaces of teeth that have any signs of tartar which effectively cleans the gumline and smooths the tooth enamel. Every time you come in for a dental checkup, tooth scaling is performed to help prevent future dental problems such as cavities and gum disease.

What's Involved With A Root Planing Procedure?

Root planing, also known as a "deep cleaning" is a dental procedure performed when periodontal (gum) disease is detected. Signs of periodontal disease severe enough to warrant a deep cleaning include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing and a shrinking or receding gumline.

A deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from tooth roots (below the gumline) and leaves behind a smooth, clean surface for gum tissue to re-attach itself to. If you are currently experiencing signs of periodontal (gum) disease, it is important that you call our office at (925) 934-1211 and talk to us about coming in for a dental exam. You can also request an appointment online which may help speed up the process.