Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
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Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
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Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
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Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
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Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
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Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

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space placeholder.What Is It?.
space placeholder.What It's Used For .
space placeholder.Preparation .
space placeholder.How It's Done.
space placeholder.Follow-Up .
space placeholder.Risks .
space placeholder.When To Call a Professional .
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space placeholder.What Is It?
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Debridement is the removal of large amounts of plaque and tartar from your teeth.

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space placeholder.What It's Used For
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Debridement is done on people who have heavy plaque and tartar (calculus) build-up. This usually happens because they haven't visited a dentist for a long time. If the plaque and tartar are really heavy, your dentist may not be able to see the teeth to examine them. First, the plaque and tartar must be removed through debridement.

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space placeholder.Preparation
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Some people who are very sensitive to pain might need a numbing liquid applied to their gums or an injection of a local anesthetic for this procedure. Often, people who avoid the dentist have some form of dental phobia. Some form of anesthesia may help to make them more comfortable.

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space placeholder.How It's Done
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Debridement is done with hand instruments or an ultrasonic device. This tool uses water and high-frequency vibrations to dislodge plaque and tartar from the teeth.

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space placeholder.Follow-Up
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Debridement is usually the first phase of periodontal treatment. Next, your dentist will examine your teeth and recommend treatment. This may involve scaling and root planing or gum surgery.

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space placeholder.Risks
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If your gums are inflamed, they will bleed during the procedure and they may feel sore after that. In some cases, your teeth may be sensitive to temperature (hot and/or cold) after debridement. This occurs when the removal of plaque and tartar exposes tooth roots.

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space placeholder.When To Call a Professional
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Call your dentist if:

  • You have bleeding that doesn't stop
  • You have excessive swelling or discharge from the area
  • Lymph nodes beneath your lower jaw or in your neck become swollen
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