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Dental Cleaning: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jan 18, 2023

What is the treatment?

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) a professional dental cleaning done at least twice every year can assure you of healthy oral condition. A practice of healthy oral hygiene with proper brushing and flossing help you get a comfortable cleaning experience. Sensitivity and discomfort during dental cleaning is experienced when there is lack of oral hygiene.

Before the cleaning process is started a thorough physical exam of the teeth and gums for inflamed gums (gingivitis) is done by your dentist. After this plaque and tartar around the gum line are removed. Thereafter, cleaning with a gritty tooth paste is carried out which follows expert flossing of teeth which cleanses out any trouble spot in your mouth. Then you are made to rinse your mouth and finally fluoride application treatment is done.

So, it is advisable for people to go for routine professional dental cleaning sessions to prevent any related issue in advance and maintain good health of teeth and gums. The cleaning is done with specialised instruments which are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and sterilized to ensure quality and safety. This regular teeth cleaning is mainly a painless activity, but in case you start experiencing pain, your dentist can apply other options of cleaning.

Hence, professional teeth cleaning is not just for enhanced appearances but also important for avoiding periodontal diseases and upholding proper tooth health. Diseases like periodontitis can be treated by dental scaling which is a common non-surgical method which involves cleaning of oral areas below the gum line. The method is used to remove the sticky, bacteria filled plaque below the gum line. The treatment normally does not cause any discomfort or pain and can be completed in a single visit to the dentist.

How is the treatment done?

To get a dental cleaning done the first step is a physical examination of your teeth and gums by a dental hygienist. A small mirror or camera is used to examine around the teeth and gums for any infection due to deposition of plaque or scales. The second step involves removal of place and scales or tartar that deposit around the gum line and between the teeth as well.

Scaling can be done using either hand-held instruments or with ultrasonic instruments. Hand-held instruments like a dental scaler and curette are used by the dentist to remove the plaque manually by identifying areas of rough spots and tartar build-up. Ultrasonic instrument is a little more advanced in cleaning the teeth wherein it uses a vibrating metal tip to remove the tartar and wash the debris away by spraying water on it.

After scaling has been done, the teeth are cleaned using a gritty toothpaste. This toothpaste is a regular one having a gritty consistency that can be scrubbed on your teeth using a high-powered electric brush. This procedure is helps in getting a really deep clean and remove any plaque or tartar. An expert flossing session is the perfect one for getting a deep cleaning of your teeth. Following this, the dentist will provide you with a rinse containing liquid fluoride for washing out all the debris out of the mouth.

The last step of the cleaning process is fluoride application wherein a foamy gel containing fluoride is placed into a mouthpiece which is put on the teeth and left for a minute. With a small brush, the teeth are then painted with fluoride varnish which quickly hardens on coming in contact with saliva to give a polished look.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Dental cleaning does not call for any specific group of people. In fact it is recommended for everybody as a routine oral health care practice.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People with untreated periodontitis are not eligible for dental cleaning. So, the gum disease needs to be treated first before going in for a cleaning procedure.


Are there any side effects?

Common side-effects of profession dental cleaning include sensitivity to heat or cold, bleeding and sore gums, bacterial infection and tooth pain and discomfort. Bleeding gums can open up the gum area for infection. So, bacterial infection and other chronic infections are also susceptible to occur after dental cleaning. Some more complication that can result after dental cleaning are as follows:

  • If scaling is done inadequately, it increases the chance of loosening or even losing some teeth, also raising concern for diabetic and cardio patients.
  • Gum or periodontal disease can also be triggered in case of an improper teeth scaling.
  • Due to teeth scaling, the gums may get swollen and become tender, teeth also become sensitive and the roots can get exposed that results in bleeding of the gums.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After you have you dental cleaning done, following through the teen cleaning practice is a must for maintaining a healthy oral hygiene and preventing future gum disease. So, you must brush and floss your teeth regularly after each meal, eat more vegetables and make sure food particles do not keep sticking your teeth and a dentist appointment every 3 months in case of a gum disease, or 6 months in case of regular maintenance of dental health. A proper dental care at home is always essential. Every time you consume sugar or something sweet, chance of bacterial growth increases. So, excess sugar consumption must be checked and flossing must be done as a healthy habit to get rid of any debris in your mouth.

How long does it take to recover?

Dental cleaning is hardly a tedious treatment to require long recovery time. So, the results are spontaneous because the cleaned up teeth are visible as soon as the cleaning is over.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of scaling or dental cleaning in India ranges from about Rs. 300 to Rs. 3000, including consultation fees and ultrasonic cleaning methods.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

You cannot say that the results of dental cleaning will be permanent and stay throughout your life. It is a healthy maintenance process that must be practiced at least twice a year with proper maintenance, regular brushing and flossing at home.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternatives to scaling of teeth can be practice of maintaining proper oral or dental health at home. This may just lessen your visit to the dentist for getting a professional teeth cleaning done.


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Written ByDr. Vikram Singh AtwalPCAD,MCID Implant,BDS,Advanced AestheticsDentistry
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