Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings

Watch this video by Dr. Bianca Esparza where she explains the different levels of dental cleanings, as well as why routine dental exams are crucial to oral health.

Many people think that a regular cleaning is going to solve all of their oral problems. Now, a regular cleaning, there’s a lot that goes into what’s a cleaning. We really have three types of cleanings. Your regular cleaning, as some people say, is actually a preventative cleaning. If a patient is a candidate for a regular cleaning, that means that their gums and their mouth is healthy. We don’t have bleeding in the gums. We don’t have a lot of buildup. We have proper structure around those teeth that stabilize those teeth. So really you’re preventing disease to occur in your gums. A small percentage of patients actually qualify for a regular cleaning.

If you brush your teeth and you’re bleeding, if you floss and you’re bleeding, most likely a regular cleaning is not going to solve your problem. It might help temporarily, but it’s not what we give to our patients. The second type of cleaning is for those patients that have a lot of inflammation in those gums, which is called gingivitis, but they still have a good amount of support around those teeth. The cleaning that we utilize for those patients that have buildup and bleeding allows us to take more time because we have to go under those gums and clean everything that’s causing those gums to bleed. Bleeding gums is not a good sign.

Bleeding gums means that there is bacteria. Now, with those bleeding gums, if we have good bone structure around those teeth, then we do that second type of cleaning to make sure that those gums heal, and then we can see if we can get you on to a regular cleaning. So that second cleaning, we’re treating a mild form of disease. Now, that third type of cleaning, which many of our patients need, affects under the gums and that bone that’s holding onto those teeth. We sometimes have mobility of the teeth, meaning those teeth are loose, there’s a lot of bleeding.

We have mal odor in our mouth. That third type of cleaning is so important because it is treating an active disease that the patient has in their mouth. So when we see our patients, we assess them for what cleaning is going to be the appropriate cleaning to make sure that you get healthy. When we have somebody that needs the third type of cleaning, the big gum treatment, we cannot do a regular cleaning because that is not what you need. The regular cleaning masks what you will actually need. You think that your teeth are clean, but there’s such an underlying problem. So in our office, we do a very thorough assessment to make sure that you get treatment planned, the correct cleaning so that you can get healthy and so that we can maintain that health over the next appointments.

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