Cleanings & Gum Disease Treatment in Santa Clara
We help you keep your teeth healthy for life!
We provide regular cleanings as well as treatment for mild to severe gum disease.
Our goal is help our patients keep their teeth and gums healthy for life. Regular dental cleanings provided by our top-notch dental hygienists and good oral care at home discourage the growth of bacteria that can lead to gum disease. When gum disease does occur, we know how to treat it efficiently and effectively.
Experienced, gentle, friendly and thorough hygienists
Our well-informed hygienists know that dental procedures and technology can change rapidly. They actively continue their education in order to provide you with the highest quality care.
Your dental health is important to them, therefore they take time to explain procedures and to offer tips to help you avoid future problems with your teeth and gums.
Gentle, thorough Teeth Cleanings
You can count on our experienced dental hygienists to be very gentle while providing a thorough cleaning. They use state-of-the-art instruments with care to remove tartar and thus prevent tooth decay. The final step in the cleaning process is polishing, to smooth the teeth. The end result leaves your mouth looking and feeling fresh and clean.
An innovative new approach to cavity detection, Dexis CariVu is a portable, handheld device that uses patented transillumination technology to quickly and easily detect cavities and cracks within teeth. The device captures high-quality imagery that is stored within the Dexis software, and can be used in a side-by-side comparison with images from intraoral cameras and X-rays for a diagnosis that is both fast and accurate.
Ultrasonic scaler for maximum comfort and effectiveness
In addition to hand tools, our hygienists may also use an ultrasonic scaler to clean your teeth. Ultrasonic scalers are used to gently remove hardened plaque and heavy stains from the surface of your teeth.
As the ultrasonic scaler vibrates, it produces sound waves that break apart stubborn calculus, which is then rinsed away.
Checking the health of your gums
Your cleaning visit will also include an assessment of your gum’s overall health. Your hygienist will take periodontal measurements of your gums at each visit to check for gum recession and pockets that can form between teeth and gums.
Periodontal measurements showing that you have a pocket larger than three millimeters are indications of gum disease, and cleaning below the gum is required.
We understand that by teaching our patients how to properly care for their teeth and gums at home, they have a much better chance of preventing gum disease and preserving their natural teeth for life.
That is why we take the time, using models and hand mirrors, to demonstrate how to brush and floss correctly. We have educational videos available, and we also offer suggestions for preventative products you can use at home.
Comfortable Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss, which makes identifying and eliminating gum disease highly important to us. Our hygienists are skilled in employing procedures that help eliminate mild to moderate gum disease.
Causes of gum disease
Plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Carbohydrates that are left on the teeth provide fuel for the naturally occurring bacteria, resulting in the production of acids. Over time, acids destroy tooth enamel and tooth decay may begin.
Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but if left unchecked, can harden into calculus. In addition to inadequate oral care, certain medications, genetics and smoking may also contribute to plaque buildup and calculus.
Calculus, also referred to as tartar, forms on both the root and crown of a tooth.
The rough texture of calculus irritates the root and causes it to separate from the gum, allowing a pocket to form. Our hygienists probe for pocket depth in every new patient exam and before every cleaning. Healthy gums have pocket depths of one to three millimeters. Pocket depths greater than three millimeters indicate the presence of gum disease, and the deeper the pocket, the more severe the gum disease.
Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, are the first steps used to treat mild to moderate gum disease.
During the scaling and planing process, your hygienist will gently remove hardened dental plaque from your teeth with hand tools and an ultrasonic scaler. Vibrations produced by the ultrasonic scaler quickly and efficiently break up calculus on the teeth and roots and it is rinsed away.
To discourage bacteria from growing, the roots of your teeth will be “planed” to smooth the surface. Since it’s difficult for bacteria to adhere to the freshly smoothed surfaces, your gums can regenerate without further irritation. The gum tissue will subsequently shrink, tighten, and reattach to the teeth.
Eliminating the bacteria
ARESTIN® is an antibiotic that helps kill remaining bacteria. The treatment is placed between the teeth and gums, releasing the antibiotic over time. If an ARESTIN treatment is required, we schedule a follow-up visit with you.
Oral cancer screening
Although this is extremely rare, if we notice anything that seems suspicious, we can offer you an oral cancer screening. We use both ViziLite and VELscopeVX for oral cancer screening.
When you using the ViziLite system, we ask that you rinse your mouth with a cleansing solution, then your hygienist will lower the lights and use the ViziLite wand to check for abnormal tissue. Any potential problem areas with be illuminated and appear distinctly different to healthy tissue.
The VELscope Vx provides powerful technology for screening for oral abnormalities, which is vital for early detection of cancerous lesions. The system doesn’t require rinses or tints and is a valuable tool for ensuring overall oral health.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Listed below are some of the common symptoms of gum disease.
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bad breath or a persistent bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitive teeth
- Painful chewing
- Gum recession and loose teeth, which are symptoms of advanced gum disease
- Abscesses, which can form in the deepening gum pockets
Severe Gum Disease Treatment
We can successfully treat many cases of severe gum disease with deep cleaning and antibiotic therapy.
If your gum disease has progressed to a point where scaling and planing are not able to completely eliminate the tartar buildup, Dr. Jayne will refer you to our partner periodontist (specialist in gum disease) for treatment.