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May 28 2011

The Often Painful Process Of Deep Teeth Cleaning Can Be Helped With Sedation Dentistry

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Sometimes called sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry is actually generally performed in a state of deep relaxation. The individual is able to answer questions and follow simple directions. Performed by dental professionals with special training, it is often used in cases where deep, beneath the gum tooth cleaning is required. The good news is that you won’t feel any kind of pain during the treatment and you won’t remember it afterwards.

What exactly is deep teeth cleaning? Is it different from the twice a year teeth cleaning and polishing we’re all used to? Yes, it is. Deep tooth cleaning is necessary when “deep pockets” open around a tooth’s roots because of substantial plaque deposits. These deposits create an ideal home for the growth of bacteria, which can attack the bones your teeth are anchored to. If not treated quickly, bone shrinkage and periodontal disease may be the end result.

We are used to calling this condition gum disease, but actually, it is much more serious than that blanket term implies. It refers to inflammation of the membrane lining of the tooth socket and is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It can also lead to other serious illnesses if left untreated, and has been linked to heart attacks, among others.

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Depending on the extent of the situation, deep cleaning a whole mouth can take several hours of difficult and nerve-racking chair time. Often, dentists will split the job up into two or more visits, since it is painful and wearing to keep the mouth open for such a long time. The development of sedation dentistry has not only helped patients who need extensive remedial work, but also aids those who are phobic about going to the dentist.

Habitual tooth cleaning also serves as a major way to help prevent oral cancer. It may be alarming to learn that every hour in the U.S. someone dies from this disease. Dentists check for early signs of this deadly condition at every exam; thus providing a very strong motivation to keep those appointments. The check up is generally quick and painless, so should not be ignored.

Thankfully, good oral health is pretty much a do-it-yourself project, with the able assistance of your dentist. We’ve heard the mantra since early childhood – brush twice a day, floss; visit your dentist for regular checkups. Here’s why all these directives are important:

•    Proper brushing gets rid of food particles and plaque, a sticky bacteria-laden film – from the teeth

•    Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between the teeth

•    Regular checkups and cleaning allow your dentist to remove plaque, calculus (not an advanced form of math, but excess, hardened plaque and food particles that accumulate around the gums) and stains and also reveals early stage tooth decay and oral cancer.

This good dental hygiene should eliminate the need for heavy duty deep tooth cleaning, but if not, it is good to know that sedation dentistry is available to maintain your comfort during the procedure.

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