One common misconception about dental cleanings is that they are all the same.  In fact, dental cleanings can be very different for each patient. In order to maintain proper oral health different types of dental cleanings may need to be performed.  During the dental hygiene exam, a full assessment of the health of your gums is preformed, so the type of cleaning depends on this diagnosis. At our Fort Worth Texas dentistry office, we perform four types of cleanings…


This type of cleaning is usually performed on patients that have been maintaining a regular cleaning schedule of every 6 months with the absence of periodontal disease, extensive staining, or accumulation of accumulation of sub gingival calculus.  Routinely, the hygienist cleans the superficial plaque and minimal tarter seen above the gums.  Most insurance covers 100 % of this cleaning.


This cleaning is usually reserved for patients that have a slight accumulation of stain or calculus that has leads to inflammation of the gums.  Inflammation of the gums is seen with bleeding of the gums upon brushing or dental examination upon probing during the dental hygiene exam.  Because it requires additional work by the hygienist, most dental insurance require copay.  This type of cleaning is usually followed up with the 6 month recall appointment or more in depth cleaning depending on the condition of the gums.


This type of cleaning is performed on patients that have allowed the accumulation of calculus and bacteria that have led to gingival inflammation and can lead to loss of the supporting boney structure. The majority of the time there is inflammation and significant accumulation of calculus above and below the gums.  This procedure routinely requires a patient to be anesthetized with topical anesthetic which is usually why only half the mouth is done at each visit.

Depending on the severity of the disease, occasionally a local antibiotic is required.  Patients are also instructed regarding their responsibilities at home and are equipped with tools such as Perioscience Gel that help to promote optimal healing following dental scaling. Prior to starting this procedure, patients consult with the treatment coordinator to review this procedure the potential cost getting this type of cleaning done.  Following the completion of this type of cleaning, a patient is placed on a 3 month recall.  The purpose of the more frequent need of dental cleaning is due to the boney defect that is present which makes it harder to maintain.


This type of cleaning is done following deep cleanings.  As mentioned above because of the defects in the gums, they are more difficult to maintain and present with a great change of relapsing if not maintained more frequently.  The deep cleaning serves as the treatment phase on mild to moderate periodontal disease and the 3 month recall is the maintenance phase of the treatment.  Both stages are required to maintain periodontal health in the presence of periodontal disease.  Depending on the findings, a deep cleaning may need to be repeated every few years to potentially prevent the increase severity of the periodontal disease.

The types of cleanings that are recommended and performed depend on your unique oral health diagnosis, and are not depended upon what insurance does or does not cover.