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What Are the Different Types of Dental Cleanings?

Why Do I Need A Dental Cleaning?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth twice daily, floss daily, eat a healthy diet low in sugar, and visit your dentist regularly.  Research shows that receiving regular dental cleanings is associated with decreased rates of gum disease and tooth decay. For this reason, staying on your dentist-recommended schedule of dental cleanings is one of the best preventative measures to avoid dental issues. While many people are able to receive professional dental cleanings twice a year, others may need more frequent visits in order to maintain optimal oral health.  Your mouth is home to thousands of naturally-occurring bacteria that produce plaque and tartar.  Your at home oral hygiene regime which includes brushing and flossing removes plaque; however, whether from skipping brushing or missing areas, plaque that remains on your teeth can harden into tartar which only your dental hygienist can remove.  When plaque remains on your teeth, it can irritate your gums causing gingivitis and possibly gum disease.  Additionally, plaque begins to erode your enamel and leads to cavities and decay.

Dr. Nancy Rotroff and Dr. Gerard Wasselle, your dentists on Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, encourage you to stay current with your dental cleanings in order maintain your best oral health free of cavities, gum disease and other potential oral complications.  Following your dental exam including X-rays, your dentist will recommend the appropriate teeth cleaning procedure based on the current state of your oral health. Don't have dentist? We are accepting new patients! 

What Are The Different Types Of Dental Cleaning?

While the goal of any dental cleaning is to keep your teeth clean, strong and cavity-free, each procedure is performed differently and for different reasons. Based on your dentist's clinical findings following your checkup exam, your dental hygienist will perform one of the following dental cleaning procedures: 

1) Prophylaxis Dental Cleaning  

According to the Current Dental Terminology of the ADA, a dental prophylaxis involves the "removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from the tooth structures and implants...."  This is the most commonly performed dental cleaning and is designed for patients with good oral health.   At your prophylaxis cleaning, your dental hygienist begins by using a dental scaler to remove plaque and tartar from each tooth. Next your dental hygienist will polish your teeth, floss, and rinse leaving your mouth fresh and sparkling clean. 

2) Full Mouth Debridement

Full Mouth Debridement,  also called as gross debridement or debridement cleaning,  removes extensive plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and under gums and is performed "to enable a comprehensive periodontal evaluation and diagnosis on a subsequent visit." A gross debridement is most often performed on patients who have not visited the dentist for some time, possibly for years, and who have developed a buildup of hardened plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth preventing the dentist from being able to complete a proper evaluation and requiring a subsequent dental cleaning.

3).  Scaling and Root Planing

Dental scaling and root planing are quite invasive, nonsurgical procedures that "involve instrumentation of the crown and root surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque and calculus from these surfaces.  It is indicated for patients with periodontal disease and is therapeutic, not prophylactic, in nature. "  Whereas the prophylaxis dental cleaning removes plaque and calculus from the crown of the tooth, scaling and root planning removes buildup below the gum line as well. It is widely performed as a periodontal disease treatment. This procedure is more intensive than a regular dental prophylaxis and requires multiple appointments.

4) Periodontal Maintenance

Following periodontal scaling and root planning, a patient is put on a schedule of periodontal maintenance with visits every 3 to 4 months for cleanings including underneath the gums to combat periodontal disease. At each visit, your dental hygienist will carefully chart the depth of your pockets between your teeth and  your gums to monitor your periodontal disease and adjust the schedule of your dental cleanings accordingly.  


As oral health is linked to overall health, your dentist on Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale understands the importance of oral health.  We encourage our patients if you are due for your dental checkup and professional dental cleaning, select the best dentists in Fort Lauderdale by calling Excellence in Dentistry at 954-928-1666 to schedule an appointment today!  Dr. Nancy Rotroff and Dr. Gerard Wasselle  practice general dentistry, restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry with over 60 years combined experience providing the highest quality dental treatment with compassion and a gentle touch.  See why our patients leave awesome dental reviews. Find Excellence in Dentistry when you search for the most recommended dentist near me.  Are you looking for "dentists that accept my insurance"? Dr. Rotroff and Dr. Wasselle are in network dental providers for several dental insurance companies and we only accept PPO dental insurance plans. 









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