Two dental hygienists at Barksdale Dental review a patients x-rays and provide treatment.

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep your smile healthy but a regular professional cleaning as part of your exam is an important tool to avoid common dental problems.

Your dental hygienist will clean your teeth, will floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and, in some cases, apply fluoride. Cleanings will be accomplished with, or a combination of, hand held scaling instruments, ultrasonic cleaning devices, air abrasion for stain removal, and in some cases apply fluoride varnish.

Ultrasonic scalers use high vibrational energy that removes calculus (typically referred to as tarter) creating shock waves that disrupt bacteria cells. Most periodontal experts believe that superior results for non-surgical therapy are achieved by combining the use of ultrasonic scalers and hand instruments.

The hygienist will also identify problem areas and thoroughly review proper home care. The hygienist will suggest different techniques to help you build a home care routine that fits your needs.

For patients who have not maintained regular dental cleanings may require a couple of appointments with the hygienist to achieve ideal results. Patients who are particularly sensitive may receive local anesthesia to obtain patient comfort.

Following a cleaning, mild discomfort or sensitivity can occur, and these symptoms usually dissipate after a few days. Recommendations will be made at the time of the appointment to alleviate these symptoms.