Cleanings and Exams

A dental cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and tartar from the teeth. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. During a dental cleaning, a dentist will use special dental instruments, including ultrasonic scalers, to remove any buildup from the teeth.

Why Do I Need a Dental Cleaning?

Professional dental cleanings help remove built-up plaque and tartar from your teeth. However, daily brushing and flossing are necessary to keep your teeth and gums clean in-between visits.

Some patients may experience gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. The symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding while brushing and flossing, red and swollen gums, bad breath, and sensitive teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious conditions such as periodontitis, which can result in bone loss and tooth loss.

How Often Should I Have My Teeth Cleaned?

The ADA recommends patients follow a general guideline for dental cleanings every six months. However, your dental team may recommend more frequent cleanings if:

  • You have plaque buildup and buildup below the gum line.
  • You suffer from gum disease.
  • You have extensive dental work, such as dental implants.
  • Your teeth are sensitive.
  • You have a dry mouth.

What Should I Expect During a Dental Cleaning?

During a dental cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. Then, they will polish your teeth to make them shiny. They will also floss your teeth and provide instruction on proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Do I Need a Dental Exam?

Your teeth may feel fine, but a dental exam is the only way to really be sure. There are some important benefits to a dental exam. The most obvious is catching oral health issues early. Early detection means easier treatment, fewer complications, and a better prognosis. Your dentist can also spot signs of more serious issues, such as oral cancer or heart disease.

What Can You Expect During a Dental Exam?

During a dental exam, your dentist will evaluate your teeth, gums, and jaw. We will look for any visible signs of decay or gum disease and examine your bite alignment. Your dentist will also perform an oral cancer screening and record your oral tissues, teeth, and gums with X-rays and a dental camera.


Dr. James Thurber DDS, located in Lubbock, TX, has modern amenities and the latest technologies that enable the best dental care facilities for patients. Call us at (806) 745-6644 and book a consultation with the dentist. 


2712 82nd St,
Lubbock, TX 79423

Office Hours

MON - FRI7:30 am - 4:30 pm

SAT - SUNClosed

Get in Touch


Phone:  (806) 745-6644