Professional dental cleaning
Has your dentist ever advised you to have your teeth professionally cleaned? Perhaps you found the offer plausible, but perhaps you were also unsure. We will clarify the most important questions for you!
How useful is a professional cleaning?
Professional teeth cleaning is an ideal supplement to normal dental care. It takes place in the dentist's office and is performed by your dentist or a specially trained professional. Scientific studies confirm that a regularly performed dental cleaning effectively prevents both caries and gum inflammation. So we can definitely say: Yes! Professional teeth cleaning makes sense.
Professional teeth cleaning - what is it all about?
Professional tooth cleaning is a main component of dental prophylaxis, mostly individual prophylaxis. It is understood to be a comprehensive mechanical cleaning of the teeth that eliminates the deficits of daily oral hygiene. The plaque on the teeth cannot be completely removed with home dental care alone, i.e. brushing in the morning and evening, using interdental brushes and dental floss.n.
How does a professional teeth cleaning work?
First, the teeth are stained with a plaque test to make plaque and tartar visible. In the next step, the tartar is removed. The discolourations made visible in advance are cleaned by the dentist or the specially trained prophylaxis assistant in a gentle procedure. Hand instruments such as scalers and curettes, or special airflow and ultrasound devices are used for this purpose. If there are deposits in the interdental spaces, dental floss and dental devices such as interdental brushes and scrapers are used. Then the teeth are cleaned with an airflow powder jet. This device can reduce discolouration, e.g. from stimulants. The teeth are then rinsed with water and dried with air before exposed tooth necks and fine cracks within the tooth substance are polished and sealed with a special paste. A final fluoridation is to provide protection against caries, as the application of the fluoride gel makes it more difficult for new plaque to form.
Does professional teeth cleaning hurt?
Especially when doing a treatment for the first time, there is often a fear that it might hurt. In fact, patients with exposed necks of teeth often find scaling uncomfortable - but the procedure does not cause any real pain!
In general, the more proper your oral hygiene at home is and the more regularly you go for individual prophylaxis, the less tartar and plaque will form. The prophylaxis assistant therefore has to remove less plaque and the treatment is much more pleasant.
How long does a professional teeth cleaning take and what does it cost?
Depending on the amount of work involved, the treatment takes between 30 and 90 minutes. As described above, the extent of the treatment depends on how thoroughly you clean and take precautions at home.
The average cost is around 80€, which is generally a private service, i.e. you have to pay for it yourself. However, some statutory health insurance companies have recognised that professional teeth cleaning offers their patients a great advantage and cover the costs or at least grant a subsidy. However, such offers are voluntary statutory benefits that each health insurance fund can decide on independently of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (Kassenzahnärztliche Bundesvereinigung, kzbv). It is best to ask your health insurance company about this! There are also many different types of supplementary dental insurance.
Are there any disadvantages to professional teeth cleaning?
After the cleaning, patients occasionally complain about situational pain, which is usually felt at the necks of the teeth. Temporary hypersensitivity to cold and heat as well as acidic food and drinks is possible.
Furthermore, opponents of prophylaxis rightly claim that the teeth are again covered by a biofilm (plaque) after 24 hours. The teeth do shine again, but since most patients do not want to give up tea, coffee or red wine in the long term, discolouration can re-establish itself relatively quickly after professional tooth cleaning.
Experience shows, however, that tartar and plaque cannot be completely removed by home cleaning alone. Therefore, professional cleaning should be regarded as an essential instrument that supports individual tooth cleaning. Studies prove the key role of professional teeth cleaning in the prevention of caries and periodontitis!
What are the advantages of professional teeth cleaning?
There are both medical and cosmetic benefits of professional teeth cleaning. The medical benefits include, of course, prevention of caries and periodontitis, smoothing and mineralisation of the teeth and, last but not least, the maintenance of healthy oral flora. Cosmetic benefits include smoother surfaces and significantly brighter, shinier teeth.
Professional teeth cleaning is particularly beneficial for wearers of braces and dentures, as problem areas are often difficult or impossible to reach with a toothbrush. In addition, bridges and crowns are more durable with regular care. People with pain-sensitive tooth necks or chronic diseases, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, also benefit from professional teeth cleaning!
Professional teeth cleaning during pregnancy, really?
Many women are unaware that periodontitis, for example, can significantly increase the risk of premature birth. Professional dental cleaning plays an important role in prophylaxis, especially during pregnancy. Since many women suffer from morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy, this has a significant influence on oral health and brushing habits. A professional dental cleaning can therefore be an extraordinary benefit!
Good dental prophylaxis is also important in the second trimester of pregnancy. It has been proven that children of a mother with healthy teeth are less likely to develop caries than children of a mother with caries!
Some health insurance companies recommend professional dental cleaning from the 13th week of pregnancy and to repeat this shortly before delivery. The costs are often covered in full by the health insurance companies during this period!