Professional Tooth Cleaning to fight Dental Plaque


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Professional Tooth Cleaning to fight Dental Plaque – More than just Oral Hygiene

Has this happened to you too?

You brush your teeth twice, or maybe even three times, every day and always use dental floss as well – and yet, that pesky dental calculus keeps building up on the teeth’s surface. A few years ago, during my final year at college I was almost constantly traveling. Some trips took me around Europe, others even farther away. A few times, I needed to get to a job interview and my then part-time job required me to go on yet another few trips. And in between I also had to study for and pass tests, so I could graduate with decent grades. In all that flurry, I barely had any time for any other activities, let alone for a dentist visit. Once the long, arduous last year was finally over, I took a relaxing walk in the university park and, at some point, leaned back into one of the comfortable deck chairs there to enjoy the warmth of the sun and … suddenly realized that, when I let my tongue sweep over the surface of my teeth, an odd and rough film had accumulated on top of the dental enamel. “What in the world is this?” I wondered. “I’ve had to deal with dental calculus before but there has never been this much of it??? Time to go to the dentist.”  

What is a dental cleaning?

After a very thorough examination of my oral cavity, my dentist told me his diagnosis: “Your personal oral hygiene is pretty good – however, in the long run, it alone is not enough to keep your teeth completely clean.” He further explained that, over time, plaque (dental calculus) builds up on the surface of your teeth and can cause awful inflammations of your gum. This is especially true for dental implants, dental crowns, and all other types of tooth replacements which, hence, need to be cleaned extra thoroughly. For this reason, dentists recommend that patients come see them 1-2 times every year for professional dental cleanings to significantly reduce the risk of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Patients who have suffered from periodontitis in the past should ideally get a professional cleaning done every 3 months. A professional dental cleaning is performed either by the dentist himself/herself or by a dental hygienist and consists of the following 4 steps:

1. Remove dental calculus: Utilize instruments like a scaler, ultrasound, or Air Flow

2. Clear dental plaque: Clean inter-dental spaces with brushes and dental floss

3. Polish teeth: Apply dental polish with a brush to smooth tooth surface areas

4. Apply fluoride: Use fluoride gel to prevent the formation of cavities



The entire procedure takes, on average, 30-45 minutes and is generally completely pain-free for most patients. However, some patients may feel discomfort if their tooth necks are exposed or when the dentist attempts to clean out plaque that has built up underneath the gum line. After a professional dental cleaning, patients are advised to not eat or drink for at least 1 hour. Also crucial to know is the fact that even professional dental cleanings are not enough to remove 100% of all plaque that has built up underneath the gum line.

Professional dental cleanings, in conjunction with regular dental care (via brushing and flossing), are recommended for patients of all ages and genders to accomplish the following preventative goals:  

• Prevent formation of cavities
• Prevent gingivitis (inflammation of the gum)
• Prevent periodontitis (inflammation of the periodontium)
• Extend the lifetime of fillings and permanent and removable tooth replacements

The entire procedure takes, on average, 30-45 minutes and is generally completely pain-free for most patients. However, some patients may feel discomfort if their tooth necks are exposed or when the dentist attempts to clean out plaque that has built up underneath the gum line. After a professional dental cleaning, patients are advised to not eat or drink for at least 1 hour. “Wow – tons of good information. So how much does such a professional tooth cleaning cost?”

How much does a dental cleaning cost?

The cost of a dental cleaning can vary significantly from dentist to dentist and will generally fall between € 60 and € 250. Private dental insurance policies usually cover 100% of the cost of this procedure. On the contrary, state insurers only pay for the basic removal of dental calculus once a year and pass on the entire cost of any more extensive professional cleanings to patients. “Hm – so this means paying from my own pocket. But if it’ll help the pearly whites, let’s get to it.” I told my dentist while leaning back into the examination chair. Only an hour later, I was already on my way home – and with super smooth teeth to boot.


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All the Best & see you soon, Ace!





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