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What Is Involved in a Dental Cleaning?

1. Supragingival Cleaning

This is cleaning the area above the gumline, Hand scalers, ultrasonic scalers, and other tools are used to remove tartar. Here, an extraction forcep is used to carefully remove tartar from the crown.

2. Subgingival Cleaning

This is cleaning the area under the gumline. Subgingival plaque and calculus cause periodontal disease. Proper cleaning is the most important part of the dental cleaning process and is typically done with the use of an ultrasonic scaler.

3. Periodontal Probing

All teeth need to be checked for detection of unwanted pockets. These pockets are then treated based upon depth and radiographic changes.

4. Dental X-Rays

Dental X-Rays are taken of the teeth to evaluate for pathology not visible from above the gum line. Many teeth can have problems that were not readily apparent without the use of x-rays.

5. Polishing

Scaling can cause microscopic grooves on the surface of the teeth where plaque can accumulate. Polishing above and below the gumline will smooth the surface of the teeth decreasing the ability of plaque buildup.

Please remember that even with the most cooperative pet and diligent attention by the owner cannot prevent completely the progression of dental disease. Eventually, cleaning under anesthesia may be needed. This is similar to the fact that, despite brushing and flossing daily, many people visit the dentist every six months with