Preventive Dentistry At 86th Street Dental, we believe in preserving our oral health. We believe in giving you the best advise possible so that you can maintain your health at home. Cleanings/Prophies It is recommended that you get your teeth professionally cleaned at least once every six months. Some people may require more frequent cleanings. At your appointment doctor or hygienist will clean your teeth either with hand instruments or by a mechanical device called ultrasonic. Polishing your teeth will follow this. You will be given a take home care packet. Deep Cleanings: As we age, many of us develop what we call as periodontitis. You begin to loose some of the bone around teeth and your gums develop pockets where bacteria can harbor. These bacteria cause continuous destruction of your gum and tooth bone. In order to protect this destruction from continuing, a deep cleaning is recommended. Your teeth and gum pockets are cleaned till the base of the pocket. Once everything is cleaned, bacteria will no longer able to destroy your tissues further. This will also cause pockets to close, as your gum tissue will attach to the clean surface of your tooth thereby preventing harboring of bacteria. Caring for your teeth at home is very important in this scenario, as a clean mouth will result in lesser bacteria in your mouth thereby lesser destruction of your bone and gums. Debridements Debridements are for the patients who have heavy calculus build up. A debridement will clean the teeth above the gum level only. It would need to be followed by a regular or a deep cleaning at a later date. Gingival Irrigation Gingival irrigation is irrigation of deep pockets with a professional strength antibiotic mouthwash. It is recommended in deep cleaning patients, as this would clean the pockets even further. LANAP procedure LANAP is a laser-assisted procedure that can be used in conjugation with deep cleanings. A laser light is used to sterilize the base of pockets. This would eliminate any bacteria left after cleaning with instruments. Sealants Sealants are used to fill deep pits and fissures of your teeth. Fluoride Treatments Fluoride helps reminerlaize any cavities that start to form. It is only effective while the cavity is not big enough to need a filling. Regular fluoride treatment along with a good diet and oral hygiene can significantly reduce formation of cavities. Unfortunately, this attachment of gum lasts only 3-4 months and you will have to come back for maintenance cleanings to keep your gum and tooth cleaned under your gum line. A professional cleaning is required, as home care cannot help with cleaning under those gums.