This article provides a close-up look at a routine dental cleaning appointment. The hygienist begins by using an ultrasonic scaler on all tooth surfaces. This instrument uses ultrasonic vibrations and water to efficiently remove tartar, plaque, and stains from the teeth. The hygienist explains that she uses ultrasonic scalers on almost every patient, adjusting the power settings as needed based on the amount of buildup present. Lower settings work well for patients with minimal buildup, while higher settings are better for heavy tartar and plaque, like in SRPs and deep cleanings.

After completing the ultrasonic scaling, the hygienist switches to hand scalers to finely detail all tooth surfaces. She notes that there are specialized anterior and posterior hand scalers to properly adapt to front and back teeth morphology. The hygienist demonstrates using curettes and other scalar instruments to meticulously clean each tooth. Periodically throughout the appointment, she rinses, suctions, and repeats scaling as needed.

Once scaling is complete, the hygienist polishes the teeth using a gritty cup and paste polish. This removes any residual stains and plaque not fully eliminated during scaling. She explains that baking soda air polishers provide a similar effect. Polishing smoothes rough spots on teeth from scaling and provides that “just cleaned” feeling. The hygienist has a separate article explaining the importance of the polishing step, which she recommends reading.

After polishing, the hygienist flosses the patient’s teeth. This ensures debris is cleared from between teeth and helps her evaluate interdental contacts. Finally, she performs an oral cancer screening, checking the tongue and oral tissues for any concerning lesions or growths.

The hygienist appointment concludes with a dental exam by the Pflugerville dentist. The dentist evaluates the teeth and oral cavity, looking closely for any signs of decay, cracks, gum disease, and other problems. The hygienist mentions she has an article explaining the four main things dentists look for during an exam.

Overall, this article provides an inside look at the meticulous cleaning and inspection processes involved in a dental hygiene appointment. It highlights the various scaler instruments used, polishing techniques, and supplemental exams conducted. For Pflugerville dentists and hygienists, it serves as a helpful training overview for communicating routine cleaning procedures to patients.