A helping hand to maintain your smile.
Have you ever noticed a build up of lime-scale in your kettle or water pipes forming over time? Do you need to de-scale your coffee machine every couple of months to remove the mineral build up which can cause blockages?
Our teeth need de-scaling too.
Every day, oral biofilm (plaque) forms on and around our teeth and gums. The harmful bacteria in oral biofilm can damage our teeth and the supporting structures such as the gums and bone that hold our teeth in place. Oral biofilm calcifies (hardens) over time to form ugly deposits of calculus (tartar or scale).
In our mouth, oral biofilm hardens through exposure to the naturally occurring mineral in our saliva and the fluid excreted from both healthy and diseased gums. It is a normal and unavoidable process. In a healthy mouth, small amounts of calculus forming on the teeth can even signal to your dental professional that your mouth is functioning normally.
We can limit the build up of biofilm and calculus which forms on our teeth by working hard on brushing and cleaning in between our teeth at home. But the reality is, no one is perfect and we’ll all need a helping hand to keep our teeth free from the biofilm and calculus build up we can’t remove at home.
Just like a coffee machine, our teeth need regular, ongoing maintenance. Professional tooth cleaning is a necessary component of maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile.
Professional Cleaning FAQs
Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive regarding professional cleaning (scale and clean).
If you have any other questions please contact our friendly team.
Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help to strengthen and protect your tooth enamel. While this is a good thing, it also results in a build up of calcium deposits on the teeth called calculus. This chalky substance builds up on the teeth over time, much like lime-scale in a water pipe or kettle. Calculus is usually tooth coloured (but can vary from brown to black) and can easily be mistaken for part of your enamel. Calculus is often very firmly attached to your tooth surface and cannot be brushed or flossed off at home!
If plaque and calculus are allowed to accumulate on the teeth, they provide the perfect conditions for tooth decay to develop and for bacteria to thrive next to your gum tissues, resulting in gum infection (gingivitis or gum disease ‘periodontitis’).
Professional tooth cleaning using our new EMS Airflow Prophylaxis Master units will enable your Medland Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist to:
- Remove more plaque or ‘biofilm’ more comfortably using a ‘spa like’ powder and warm water wash
- Reduce the amount of ultrasonic and hand scaling required
- Required ultrasonic scaling is completed using warm water to reduce sensitivity
- No noisy rubber cup polishing or gritty polishing paste is needed.
So what is Guided Biofilm Therapy?
Your appointment will start in much the same way. Your Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist will thoroughly assess your soft tissues (lips, cheeks, tongue etc.), gum tissues and teeth. A small plastic shield will be placed around your mouth to protect your lips and cheeks.
Biofilm is invisible to the naked eye. Disclosing solution will be applied to your teeth with a small cotton pellet. The solution contains dye which temporarily stains the teeth and soft tissues red for ‘new’ biofilm and blue for ‘mature’ biofilm (biofilm which has been present on the teeth for a longer period of time).
Making biofilm visible ensures complete removal by your Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist. It helps to identify biofilm in difficult to reach areas and guides your clinician, enabling faster removal. Making biofilm visible provides a great opportunity for you as a patient to find out how well you are caring for your teeth at home. Records of where biofilm is located are recorded for future comparison.
Our oral hygiene needs can look different at different stages of our life. Making biofilm visible provides a unique opportunity for your Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist to work with you to refine your home care routine to enable thorough biofilm removal on a day-to-day basis.
Prevention is key! Your clinician will highlight focus areas and make recommendations to assist you in achieving effective biofilm removal at home. Additional products may be recommended to complement biofilm removal and maintain optimal health.
Next removal of biofilm, stain, disclosing solution and soft, newly developed tartar (calculus) is completed using warm water and ultra fine powder. Natural teeth, restorations, dental implants and soft tissues (gums, tongue and palate) are all cleaned with this gentle warm water spray.
For patients with gum disease, areas of deep gum ‘pocketing’ are also cleaned using this gentle warm water spray. A specialised nozzle ensures effective biofilm removal in these difficult to access areas.
Hard tartar (calculus) is removed using an ultrasonic scaler. Warm water and a special super fine cleaning tip are used to reduce sensitivity. Removing biofilm prior to ultrasonic scaling makes tartar deposits easier to see and reduces the amount of ultrasonic scaling that is required.
Your Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist will complete a final check for biofilm and tartar (calculus) deposits. Minor scaling using hand instruments may be required at this stage to complete biofilm and tartar (calculus) removal. The protective plastic shield is removed and you will be able to rinse your mouth.
Polishing using a rubber cup and gritty polishing paste is not required. Following your examination, your Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist will apply fluoride to seal and protect your clean tooth surfaces.
Your Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist will discuss a plan for your ongoing care or ‘active maintenance’. By asking questions and making observations during your appointment, they will have completed an oral health ‘risk assessment’. This will enable a recommendation to be made on the frequency that these appointments should occur. As always, we will discuss this with you and support you in your treatment decisions.
We hope that you will be as excited about GBT as we are! Providing technically excellent treatment and exceptional care will always be at the heart of what we do. We welcome any questions or feedback that you may have about your appointment!
At Medland Dental our team of dental professionals work together to ensure you receive the very best of care.
The evolution of dentistry from the reactive, treatment focused care of the past to the modern prevention focus of today, has seen Medland Dental evolve too. Today, Medland Dental employs more prevention-focused practitioners than treatment-focused practitioners.
Those prevention-focused practitioners are Dental Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists.
A Dental Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist is a tertiary trained, registered dental practitioner. Just like a Dentist, they are required to complete continual professional learning and ensure they practise dentistry in line with registration standards required by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and Dental Board of Australia.
Oral Health Therapists complete a Bachelor degree focusing on preventive and basic restorative dentistry. A Dental Hygienist specialises solely in the delivery of preventive dental services.
Working as a team allows our Dentists, Dental Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists to deliver technically excellent care in all areas of dentistry whilst focusing on the particular area of dentistry in which they excel.
Your Medland Dentist will refer you to see one of our Dental Hygienists or Oral Health Therapists when you enter our Active Maintenance program (link to What is Active Maintenance?).
Each of our Hygienists and Oral Health Theraptists are highly trained, skilled clinicians who prioritise the health and well-being of our patients.
Staying at the forefront of Brisbane’s dental industry, we are committed to utilising the latest technology and techniques to ensure that our patients can be proud of their healthy, beautiful smile.
If you have concerns about your smile or dental health and would like to learn more about treatment options that are available to you, please contact us on 07 3426 5777 or fill out the contact form and we’ll do everything we can to help.
Our welcoming and stylish dental practice is located at 66 Lambton St, Annerley, Brisbane QLD, Australia.
Providing a central and accessible location catering to patients Brisbane wide.
Our staff are passionate about ensuring every patient leaves Medland with a smile, and with full confidence they are receiving the best dental care in Brisbane.
Active maintenance can save you more
than the health of your teeth.
Active Maintenance Program
At Medland Dental, we recognise our patients who appreciate the importance of maintaining a regular schedule of preventative dental care. Which is why we’ve introduced our Active Maintenance Program.
Our Active Maintenance Program is a simple plan that rewards proactivity; the longer you maintain your bi-annual dental review schedule at Medland, the more you save*.
It pays to be proactive about the health of your teeth, so check in with our reception team about your next active maintenance appointment.
* Save from $25 for each preventative care appointment. Subject to terms and conditions.