A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist and is usually completed in less than 30 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing and polishing.
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 plaque build-up.