What Happens During Full Mouth Debridement, And What's The Purpose Of This Type Of Dental Cleaning?

If you haven't visited the dentist in several years and you schedule an appointment for an exam or a dental cleaning, your dentist may suggest a procedure called full mouth debridement. Full mouth debridement is an intense cleaning that removes all of the tartar that's stuck on your teeth.

Tartar is made from a combination of bacteria, minerals, and food particles, and it bonds so strongly to your teeth that you can't remove it with a toothbrush. Only in-office dental cleaning can remove tartar, and you'll need a full mouth debridement when you've accumulated a very large amount of it. To learn more about what happens during a full mouth debridement and the purpose of the procedure, read on.

What Happens During Full Mouth Debridement?

During a full mouth debridement, a dentist or dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove all of the tartar that's stuck to the surface of your teeth. An ultrasonic scaler is an electric dental instrument that has a steel head that vibrates very quickly. The vibrating head breaks apart tartar and pulverizes it, removing it from your teeth. An ultrasonic scaler also has a spray attachment that constantly sprays water on the tooth that's being treated, which stops it from heating up due to the friction of the vibrating head against the surface of your tooth.

Full mouth debridement can be a long procedure when you have a substantial amount of tartar stuck to your teeth. Your dentist may suggest only doing half of your mouth at once to make each procedure shorter. Your dentist may also use a local anesthetic to numb your gums during the procedure. If you have sensitive gums because of gum disease, the local anesthetic will prevent you from feeling any pain caused by the ultrasonic scaler coming into contact with your gums.

What's the Purpose of Performing Full Mouth Debridement?

Dentists recommend full mouth debridement when they're unable to perform a thorough dental examination because there's too much tartar on your teeth. If you have tooth decay, a dentist will need to check the size of the periodontal pockets next to your teeth. Periodontal pockets appear when your gums become irritated because of gum disease. Irritated gums will pull away from your tooth. Your dentist can check the progression of your gum disease by measuring the depth of your periodontal pockets using a probe.

If you have too much tartar covering your gums, the probe may not fit. Full mouth debridement will remove all of the tartar on your teeth, which allows your dentist to perform a good exam. After your full mouth debridement, you'll be asked to come back to the dentist for a follow-up appointment after your gums have healed so that this examination can be performed.

Overall, full mouth debridement is a form of dental cleaning that's recommended when your teeth are covered in a very large amount of tartar, preventing your dentist from being able to check the health of your teeth and gums. While full mouth debridement can be a long procedure, a local anesthetic will reduce the amount of discomfort you feel during it, and it can be broken up into multiple visits to make each session shorter. Once the procedure is complete and your teeth and gums have healed from it, your dentist will be able to perform an examination, diagnose any dental health problems that you have, and recommend suitable treatment.

Contact a dental office like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock to learn more.