What Is a Deep Cleaning?

What Is a Deep Cleaning?

woman discussing deep cleaning with the dentistMost dental patients come into the office twice a year for a teeth cleaning. However, some patients are told that they need to get a deep cleaning instead, and that they need to see us more often than twice a year. While a regular teeth cleaning is a routine procedure, it’s important to know that a deep cleaning is very different and is actually a treatment for an oral disease.

If you pay attention when you visit the dentist, you may hear our staff and hygienists referring to your appointment as “a prophy”. This is short for “prophylactic”, which is a word that comes from Greek and means “treatment to prevent a disease”. We call a teeth cleaning prophylactic because the purpose of a cleaning is to prevent disease or dental problems in a patient that has otherwise healthy teeth and gums.

A deep cleaning is often referred to as “soft tissue management” or “periodontal therapy”. That’s because a deep cleaning is actually a treatment for periodontal disease (or gum disease). Your dentist will recommend a deep cleaning if you are showing signs of developing gum disease or if you have already been diagnosed with gum disease.

A deep cleaning is not just an extra-thorough version of a prophy teeth cleaning. Regular teeth cleanings involve removing plaque and debris from the visible part of the teeth and polishing your teeth. A deep cleaning includes going below the gumline to remove disease-causing bacteria and cleaning the tooth roots so it is harder for bad bacteria to grow there.

If left untreated, gum disease eventually leads to tooth loss and other health problems associated with chronic oral disease. So if your dentist or hygienist tells you that you need a deep cleaning, it’s not like they’re offering you the “Deluxe Car Wash” versus the “Basic Car Wash”. What they’re telling you is that we need to create a treatment plan to manage the health of your gums so that we can keep your smile as happy and healthy as possible!

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The Star-Studded History of Veneers

The Star-Studded History of Veneers

hollywood smile porcelain veneersIf your teeth are cracked, stained, or otherwise damaged, cosmetic dentistry can greatly improve the appearance of your smile. Dentists use crowns, bridges, implants, onlays and veneers for smile makeovers, and many of these techniques have been used for hundreds of years. But compared to other procedures, like crowns, which have been used since as early as 200 AD, veneers are a relatively new procedure. But how did this relatively affordable option develop amongst so many other techniques?

Cosmetic dentistry has been practiced for thousands of years. Before veneers, to fix damaged teeth, people either had them filled or left them alone. Some civilizations had techniques for cosmetic dentistry. Around 700 BC, Etruscans used ivory, bone, and teeth from humans or animals for dentures, and by 200 AD, they used gold for crowns. Egyptians used to scrub stains from their teeth with pumice stones and vinegar. Later, in the 1400s, barbers were performing dental hygiene and cosmetic services, like teeth whitening with acid (which eventually destroyed the tooth enamel!).

Around 1770, the first porcelain dentures were made, and people began to focus on making prosthetic teeth look natural. Porcelain teeth gained popularity in the 1800s, and in 1903, Charles Land created a porcelain substitute for metal fillings called a “porcelain jacket crown.”

And finally, in 1928, a Californian dentist named Charles Pincus created the first dental veneers after getting a request to change the appearance of an actor’s teeth. These veneers may be the true origin of the famous “Hollywood Smile.” Pincus went on to invent veneers that were held in place by a denture adhesive, but they didn’t last very long and could only be secured temporarily.

Since they had the potential to help the general public, dentists worked on making veneers more long-lasting, and in 1959, Dr. Michael Buonocore first used etching to bond porcelain veneers to teeth more permanently. In 1982, Drs. Simonsen and Calamia found a way to increase the bond strength by using hydrofluoric acid in etching and composite resins to bond porcelain to teeth permanently. These small advances in materials and technology led to the very refined and high-quality veneers we have available now.

Today, veneers are mainly made from porcelain and can be expected to last between 10 and 30 years, depending on care and wear. The history of veneers is a perfect representation of the history of cosmetic dentistry and all of its advances—it’s a history of people innovating to help others’ smiles shine brighter!

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The Importance of Caring for Baby Teeth

The Importance of Caring for Baby Teeth

child with no tooth decayThere is nothing as charming and precious as a child’s happy smile. Unfortunately, we find that some parents and caregivers think of baby teeth (also known as milk teeth) as disposable. Their logic seems to be, if kids are going to lose their teeth soon anyway, it’s okay for them to get a little tooth decay or other oral problems. There are many reasons that this is not true!

Preventing Pain from Tooth Decay

First and foremost, we don’t want to see kids who are in pain. Cavities often lead to toothaches and infections in the tooth can spread to the gums and jawbone, causing more problems. We want every child to get to know the dentist in a positive way, so we want their earliest memories of the dentist to be rewarding and educational teeth cleanings and exams, not filled with tears and fear. Taking good care of baby teeth is vital to making sure we show your child that the dentist‘s office is a fun and welcoming place! Plus, the fewer oral problems your child has, the less they’ll have to be pulled out of school for trips to the dentist.

Establishing Good Habits

Taking good care of baby teeth is good practice for children. They will need to know good oral hygiene habits to keep their adult teeth healthy for the rest of their lives. Making oral healthcare a respected part of your household routine is very important. And don’t forget to set a good example by taking good care of your own teeth too!

Preparing the Mouth for Adult Teeth

As the American Dental Association says, you can think of baby teeth as “nature’s braces”. The baby teeth help prepare the mouth for the proper positions of adult teeth when they come in. But if the baby teeth aren’t cared for properly, they can’t do this very important job. For example, if a child has a baby tooth removed early due to tooth decay, the remaining baby teeth may crowd that area, leaving no gap for the adult tooth to move into when the time comes. The result can be crowded or misaligned adult teeth that are hard to clean and require more extensive orthodontic treatment (braces).

Need a Tutorial on Caring For Kids Teeth? Let Us Know!

How you should care for your child’s teeth changes as they grow. Even babies need their gums cared for before they start teething! If you need tips on how to care for your child’s teeth and teach good habits at any stage, please let us know. We’d be happy to give you instructions!

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