Cleaning (Prophy)
A professional cleaning is performed by a registered dental hygienist (RDH) or dentist.

The cleaning appointment consists of:

  • periodontal charting (probings)
  • cleaning
  • home care instruction: proper brushing and flossing techniques
During this cleaning appointment, x-rays may be taken & Dr. Lai may perform a comprehensive evaluation.
The periodontal charting (probings) will be performed anytime during the cleaning. These probings measure the depth of your gum tissue and gum recession. This will be done again at future appointments to analyze if gum health is improving or declining.
You also will have plaque and tarter(calculus) removed from under the gum line and from the surface of the teeth.
We use either special hand instruments &/or an ultrasonic scaler and polisher.

Root Planing (deep cleaning)
This type of cleaning consists of:
  • health update
  • anesthesia
  • scaling and root planing
  • home care instruction
Scaling and root planing is a method of treating periodontal disease when pockets are greater than 4-5 mm with moderate-heavy amount of tartar buildup. Scaling is used to remove plaque, bacteria, and tartar beneath the gumline. A local anesthetic may be given to reduce any discomfort.
Using an instrument called an ultrasonic scaler, the hygienist or dentist carefully removes plaque and tartar down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. The tooth's root surfaces are smoothed or planed to feel as smooth as glass. This allows the gum tissue to heal (hopefully) at a higher level with a better pocket reading.