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Preventive Care

A regular dental cleaning is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. While good habits at home are important — including regular brushing and flossing, plus an anti-cavity rinse, seeing your dentist regularly offers extra protection from cavities, gingivitis and tartar buildup.

Why teeth cleanings are so important?

Even the best dental hygiene routine doesn’t guarantee your mouth and teeth are completely free of germs and tartar. Home toothbrushes, floss and dental rinse can only do so much. In fact, being too aggressive in your home regimen can do more harm than good.

•During a typical dental cleaning, the teeth are scaled to remove any plaque on the tooth and under the gum line that regular brushing and flossing can’t reach. The process can be done using sonic and ultrasonic scalers, replacing the hand scales that made teeth cleaning painful in the past.

•A dental polishing is done along the gum line to prevent future plaque buildup. After the cleaning, the patient rinses out with water or a dental rinse.

Following your visit with Dr. Harter, you’ll receive home care instructions on how to protect your teeth and gums from gum disease and infection. Good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups and healthy eating habits can prevent gingivitis and periodontitis, making every regular dental cleaning less painful and less invasive.

Dr. Harter or the Dental Hygienist performs the dental cleanings.

Each cleaning appointment includes:

•Oral hygiene Instruction: Instruction includes review of brushing and flossing techniques along with tips on how to reach the commonly missed areas.

•Removal of Plaque: Plaque adheres to the teeth and over time and becomes calculus (tartar). It is difficult to see, and the bacteria that reside in the plaque produce toxins that cause inflammation in the gums and other tissue. This inflammation is the beginning of periodontal disease.

•Removal of Calculus (tartar): As plaque gets old it hardens into calculus. It can form on the tooth above and below the gum line. Calculus cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. It requires special dental instruments to be removed.

•Tooth Polishing: Plaque and stains are removed by polishing in areas where brushing and flossing are not effective.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planning is a non-surgical procedure directed at removing the cause of gingival inflammation. This is accomplished by cleaning the dental surfaces below the gums. These procedures are most effective in patients who are suffering from inflammatory gum diseases such as gingivitis and mild to severe chronic periodontitis.

Here are some reasons for Scaling and Root Planing:

•Prevent and Remove Disease: The bacteria that causes periodontal disease has the potential to travel through the body. Scaling and root planing removes this bacteria and its potential to spread.
•Restore tissue health: bacterial growth and chemicals produced by the bacteria irritate the gums and result in pain and inflammation. By removing these irritants, inflammation and pain are removed and healing can begin.
•Protect the teeth: A product of bacterial growth is calculus (tartar) and plaque. When plaque accumulates it covers the teeth above and below the gums, hardens, and becomes calculus. Plaque and calculus do not allow for proper cleaning. Improper cleaning results in dental cavities, decay, and gum disease. Scaling and root planing removes this plaque and calculus (tartar).

The Scaling and Root Planing Treatments involve:
Scaling- The Hygienist takes an Ultrasonic instrument that is specifically designed to remove plaque and calculus buildup on crown and root surfaces. This instrument is placed against the tooth and through its vibrations removes the plaque and calculus.

Root Planing- Using specialized hand and ultrasonic instruments, your hygienist will plane (scrape) the root surfaces of your teeth. This ensures that all of the calculus and plaque are removed. This procedure allows your gums to heal.

  • Dr. Harter is one of the easiest, laid back dentists I have ever seen. He is GREAT! He does an amazing job with fillings! AMAZING CARE!

    Kelsy F.

  • Love going to see Dr. Harter! He does a wonderful job and has no problems answering/explaining things when I ask him a question.

    Melissa G.

  • Would highly recommend Dr. Harter! Great dentist!

    Halie J.

  • Dr. Harter is awesome! He's great with kids too. He explains every step he's doing and is very gentle. Our family loves him!

    Cassie M.