We usually recommend a thorough cleaning every 6-12 months with our specialised dental hygienist team (link to team page) to give you a solid foundation to prevent future problems.
Cleaning is about prevention so you need less treatment in the future
The Snö hygienist will perform a short exam to assess the current state of your dental health and then carefully and gently work tooth by tooth to remove calculus (tartar) and plaque before polishing your teeth. When needed you will also receive personalised instruction on how to best take care of your teeth and mouth. A routine cleaning typically takes an hour.
Calculus are calcifications of food debris and bacteria that, if left on the teeth for too long, will give you bad breath. It can also cause inflammation in the gums, which can later lead to damage (resorption) of the bone, loosening of the tooth and larger infections. This is often referred to as periodontitis.
Some people get calculus easier than others. Your dentist will let you know how often you need to have your teeth cleaned according to your level of calculus. Periodontitis is usually a slow progressing disease. When the patient experiences symptoms, it is often more difficult to treat. With the Snö ExamTM, we can inform and help you to prevent the disease from spreading before it sets.
We usually find calculus above the gum line on a tooth – supra gingival. This makes it fairly easy to remove, usually accomplished in one visit. If you have a lot of calculus or have not been to the dentist for a long time, it might require more visits. We can also find calculus under the gum level – sub gingival. This will be detected when we do our Snö Exam with X-rays and 3D scans. X-rays will also tell us about the condition of the roots and bone.
With a probe, we gently assess the root surfaces for any irregularities and how tight the gum adheres. As a part of the Snö Exam, we very precisely measure (perio-charting) the current status of your mouth, and formulate a risk assessment in order to prevent the disease (periodontitis) from spreading.
Example of a thorough charting of a patient’s periodontal status as it is always done at Snö. The appearance may be confusing but not for the dental team. Regular charting is essential to monitor the development of a patient’s condition, both for treatment purposes and prophylaxis. Your dentist should provide you with this information if you move or switch dentists.
The most commonly used treatment to remove calculus is to scrape it off with a designated instrument. Dentists call this treatment a depuration. But today we have even better techniques to help us to do the cleaning gently and effectively.
At Snö we use Guided Biofilm Therphy (PERIO-FLOW®) a powerful yet controlled jet of water, air and fine powder that not only polishes all the surfaces of a tooth, removing plaque, discoloration and soft deposits, but also reaches deep into periodontal pockets (if you have any) up to a depth of 0.5mm. It is more efficient than depuration at removing the damaging biofilm that develops when dental plaque is colonised by bacteria, and can cause periodontitis and peri-implantitis to develop. Air flow polishing is completely safe to use with dental implants, veneers, crowns and bridges.
Studies have shown that air polishing is much faster at removing stains and plaque than traditional methods. This means less time in the chair for the patient and therefore fewer interruptions. Teeth are cleaned in a much less abrasive manner than scraping and polishing, which also causes less damage to the teeth. And its much more comfortable for the patient. Sometimes we also complement this with laser treatment (included in the normal treatment), but is usually not needed. If the teeth are sensitive, we can use a local anaesthetic to make it more comfortable.
Close up, back side of lower front teeth. Supra gingival (above the gum line) calculus, removed gently and pain-free by a hygienist. The last discoloration will then be removed with the Perio-flow.