Dental Cleanings

Sonrisas Sanas Dental

Dentists located in Elmhurst, New York, NY

Regular dental cleanings are a critical part of any solid oral hygiene routine. At Sonrisas Sanas Dental in Elmhurst, Queens, New York City, Dr. Jason Bastida, DDS, and Dr. Ismael Bastida, DDS, view dental cleanings as a foundation for your overall dental health. Don’t delay coming in for a cleaning, as accumulated plaque and tartar can lead to serious dental issues if left in place for lengthy periods of time. If you’re overdue for a professional cleaning, call the office today to book your visit. Online booking is also available, making it easy to find an appointment time that fits your busy schedule.

Dental Cleanings Q & A

Sonrisas Sanas Dental

Why are dental cleanings so important?

You only get one set of permanent teeth, taking care of them should be your top priority. Scheduling routine dental cleanings is the first line of defense against tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.

Can cleanings prevent cavities?

Yes. A cavity is a hole in your tooth created by bacteria, they’re dangerous because they break the protective barrier your enamel provides.

Cavities begin at the level of your enamel, then begin working their way down through the inner layer called dentin. Eventually, a cavity can lead to infection at the innermost layer, the pulp,  of the affected tooth; this is where the blood and nerve supply of teeth are housed. This can often lead to sharp shooting pain and almost always mean your teeth need a root canal.

Cavities begin with food and drink particles, and since eating and drinking is an unavoidable part of life, no one is immune to dental decay. Those food particles combine with saliva, bacteria, and acids to form plaque, a sticky substance that can build up on the surface of your teeth.

Left in place, dental plaque can harden into tartar, which can’t be removed through normal brushing and flossing. Left unremoved, this buildup can damage teeth, lead to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and eventually gum disease (periodontutis). Routine maintenance through professional dental cleanings will remove plaque and tartar, thereby preventing cavities and maintaining healthy gums.

What happens during dental cleanings?

A thorough dental exam is the first step before your cleaning. During the exam your dentist checks for signs of dental decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns.   

Next comes the thorough manual removal of all signs of plaque and tartar. This part of the process takes longer if you have significant plaque and tartar. Your dentist also includes professional flossing with your cleaning. No matter how well you floss at home, nothing compares to having a pro floss your teeth.

For many men and women, tooth polishing is the best part of a professional cleaning. Your dentist or hygienist uses a special gritty paste and a high-powered electric toothbrush to remove every last trace of plaque and tartar and give your teeth that amazing post-cleaning feel.

Depending on your needs, they might also give you a fluoride treatment at the end of your cleaning appointment. The solution only takes a moment or two to set, and provides lasting protection to help fight dental decay.

If you’re overdue for professional teeth cleaning, schedule an appointment with us today.  

Dental examination

A complete dental examination must be done by your dentist at your initial dental visit. This procedure will include the following:

  • X-ray examination (diagnostic) - This examination is essential for the detection of caries, tumors, cysts, bone disease (bone), as well as looking at the morphology of the tooth itself (size and shape of the roots), as well as its position compared to neighboring teeth. This radiographic examination will also allow us to look at adjacent structures that are in direct contact with the masticatory apparatus. In our office we use digital radiographs (panoramic and cephalometric) that give us a better vision and perspective of our masticatory system, which with the use of computers will allow us to make a better diagnosis and with much less radiation than conventional radiographs. Always looking for the greatest comfort and benefit to you.
  • Oral cancer research - Includes the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat and gums to know if there is oral cancer.
  • Evaluation of gum disease - Includes the gums and bone around the teeth and other support tissues. Let us know that there is periodontal disease.
  • Examination of caries - They will be examined carefully with appropriate instruments to know if this disease exists.
  • Examination of existing restorations - Review of fillings, fillings, crowns, bridges or dentures that you are using to determine your current status. And know if they are still functional or need replacement.

Professional dental cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by dental hygienists, after a doctor's review that will indicate to the hygienist what type of dental cleaning each patient requires. This appointment also includes a dental examination and the following procedures:

  • Removal of dental calculus (calculus) -  The calculus or calculus is the hardening of the dental plaque that has been accumulating in the tooth over time to become something completely hardened and that adheres firmly to the surface of the tooth. The dental calculus can be supragingival, it is the one we usually look above the gum line and the calculus or subgingival calculus is formed below the gum line and is very difficult to appreciate with the naked eye. Both forms of calculus or dental calculus, are eliminated with special dental instruments, which will not do any damage to the tooth.
  • Removal of dental plaque- The plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that finds its way around the teeth as a result of chewing food and if it is not removed properly, it will harden until it forms tartar. This plaque is also known as bacterial plaque because it houses a large number of bacterial colonies. These bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that will inflame the gums causing bleeding and bad smell. This is the beginning of what is known as periodontal disease.
  • Tooth polish - It's the final step in what we know as dental cleaning professional and consists in removing all the stains that have been left when removing tartar and the bacterial plaque. It is also carried out with adequate procedures and instruments and professionals who will leave the tooth completely smooth.