This is a professional cleaning performed by the dental hygienist. Patients should be seen for a cleaning every six months to prevent excessive plaque and tartar buildup. Left untreated, this can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning includes scaling, polishing, periodontal measurements, x-rays, and an oral cancer screening.
Traditionally, the hygienist performs the cleaning by using hand instruments, but they can also use electric or ultrasonic scalers. Sometimes for best results, a combination of the two may be used.