A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist and is usually completed in less than an 60 minutes. These should be performed every three to six months depending on your level of gum health and are meant to prevent excessive plaque and tartar buildup. Left untreated, these can lead to more severe periodontal disease and tooth decay. Dental cleanings should include scaling, root planing and polishing and the amount of time, materials and effort required to perform this determines the level or type of cleaning each person requires.
Scaling and root planing is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces with a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. Polishing completes the cleaning, making the surface of the teeth smooth and minimizing future build-up.