Passionate Artistry

Dental Cleanings

Cleanings (Dental Prophylaxis)

Contact Us Today!We can thank Procter & Gamble and dental insurance companies for introducing most of us to cleanings every six months. While this timing is easy to track, many patients, especially elderly patients or patients with active systemic disease will benefit from cleanings more often. Our office recommends intervals based upon an individual assessment of what is necessary to keep each patient healthy.

A dental cleaning, also known as a dental prophylaxis, consists of thoroughly removing tartar (calculus), plaque and stains that are visible above the gum line. In healthy mouths, the dental hygienist may go a bit below the gum line to be sure to do a complete job.

For unhealthy mouths, or mouths that have had previous pockets, or for mouths that have a lot of exposed root surfaces from recession, other services may be required from the hygienist. These are as follows:

Gross Debridement

toothbrushesGross debridement removes heavy deposits above the gum line. This is most often required on a patient who has not seen the dentist for a number of years, when there is heavy build-up and inflammation. The hygienist will usually use an ultrasonic scaler or piezo scaler. These will knock the heaviest visible deposits off the teeth and will allow for the initiation of healing prior to follow up visits for a fine scale and polish (when pocket depths are normal) or deep scaling (when pocket depths are abnormal). The teeth are not normally polished at this visit since the teeth may not be free of small deposits and stains. The fee for gross debridement is slightly higher than the cost for regular cleaning.

Fine Scale and Polish

The fine scale and polish appointment follows either a gross debridement appointment (in place of a regular cleaning) or a successful series of deep scaling appointments. It is essentially like a dental prophylaxis and the fee is the same.

healthy smile

Periodontal Scaling

Periodontal scaling is like a dental prophylaxis, but is done for patients who have exposed root surfaces from recession. This procedure takes more time and skill than a regular prophylaxis, therefore the fee is slightly higher.

Deep Scaling (Root Planing)

When there are multiple areas of unhealthy pocket depths, deep scaling will be recommended. Deep scaling removes deposits that are deep under the gum line. Removal of this tartar will allow the body to heal the area under the gum, eliminating swelling and bleeding. Our office assesses each patient on an individual basis, recommending deep scalings for each section or partial section of the mouth that is affected. Some patients will benefit the most from our Centers for Dental Medicine or Add Life to Your Smile programs. For more about deep scaling, go to its individual page.


It was great. Each staff member greeted me and they walked me through the whole office. I highly recommend Studio Dentistry. They are great!!

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