What Are Dental Cleanings And What To Expect Before One

A dental cleaning is an additional step a dentist takes to ensure optimal oral health. Our lifestyle choices, social life, and genetic makeup dictate several issues that can only be detected through a proper examination. The human mouth has billions of bacteria in it; hence, carelessness and infrequent oral hygiene can cause many oral diseases.

A female patient receiving dental treatment at a clinic

What Is A Dental Cleaning?

A dental cleaning is a preventive measure dentists take to assist patients in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Experts advise individuals to go for a dental cleaning every six months. However, a higher frequency of dental issues requires more dental care settings.

Types of Dental Cleaning

Bacteria can be removed from the teeth with everyday care habits such as tooth brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. There are four major types of dental cleanings, as mentioned below:

  • Prophylaxis Dental Cleaning

This type of dental cleaning exclusively prevents disease. When individuals are more prone to tooth decay or gum disease, professionals recommend the prophylaxis method of dental cleaning. Prophylaxis dental cleaning rids the teeth of tartar and decay, usually using a dental scaler. Patients who are oral health conscious usually only require this level of cleaning.

  • Scaling/Root Planing Cleaning

Also known as deep cleaning, scaling or root planing cleaning cleans the teeth and deep gum pockets. If left untreated, bacterial culmination leads to serious gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis. The frequency of cleaning typically depends on the severity of the situation and may require multiple visits to your dental clinic.

Scaling also cleans teeth by removing plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth and also shallower gum pockets to reduce inflammation. On a deeper level, root planing soothes the tooth roots, promoting tooth and gum re-attachment to eliminate deep gum pockets.

  • Periodontal Cleaning

Periodontal cleaning is much like deep cleaning in that it soothes roots and closes gum pockets, but this type of cleaning is done much more frequently. When individuals suffer from severe forms of gum disease, they are at a high risk of oral issues, as most gum diseases are progressive. Negligence can cost an individual much more time and cause more pain than necessary.

  • Gross Debridement Cleaning

When plaque and tartar have been untouched for long periods, they require gross debridement cleaning, perhaps the deepest form of gum and tooth cleansing. It is especially required for patients who struggle to maintain oral hygiene daily, causing daily hindrances in normal activities such as speaking, eating, drinking, et cetera.

A dentist treating a patient for oral issues

Here’s What To Expect Before A Dental Cleaning

Dental cleaning takes place over multiple steps depending on the type of cleaning required.

  • Oral examination

An oral examination is important for the dental hygienist to understand the gravity of the oral problem. This also includes several factors checking vitals, family history for diseases, social history, and lifestyle understanding before moving ahead.

  • X-Rays

If the dental expert thinks there is more below the surface, an X-Ray might be required. An X-Ray helps identify any bone or jaw damage for dentists to assess the level of cleaning required.


At West Hills Smiles, we offer dental cleaning as an extension of our General Dentistry Services West Hills for patients suffering from oral problems. You can find out more about our services by contacting us, booking an appointment, or visiting our clinic in West Hills, California. We provide various dental treatments and even offer Emergency Dental Services West Hills to our patients.