Tartar is actually calcified plaque, which is so hard that it cannot be removed from the teeth by home methods and simple brushing. Tartar formation on the surface of the teeth starts very soon after eating.
If the food residues are not removed by proper brushing techniques, this thin layer will form dental plaque and then will calcify due to the minerals released from saliva. This is how tartar is formed. As with everything, THERE IS A SOLUTION!
Step 1: Cleaning your teeth: removing tartar
- The first step in tartar removal is tooth cleaning, which is the actual removal of stubborn tartar.
- This is achieved by the so-called ultrasonic tooth cleaning . The ultrasonic vibration movement lightly and gently separates the tartar from the enamel, without damaging the enamel at all. The vibrations create air bubbles that cause the tartar to separate and disintegrate. Thorough tooth cleaning restores a clean and smooth tooth surface, which is an essential step to good oral hygiene.
Step 2: Polishing: fine cleaning of the teeth
- The second step of tartar removal is polishing the cleaned teeth. This is done with a polishing paste and a head similar to an electric toothbrush. Tartar removal and polishing therefore results in a brighter, whiter smile for all our patients!
Frequently asked questions
HOW CAN PERIODONTAL DISEASE BE CURED? WHAT DOES PERIODONTAL TREATMENT CONSIST OF?
Unfortunately, we cannot reverse bone degeneration and gum recession that has already occurred, but further deterioration can be prevented, the established condition can be maintained, and even teeth that are already moving can be kept for many years.
Curing the condition means eliminating the pockets. This is done in a one to four session treatment under local anaesthesia, during which the condition of the teeth and gums is first thoroughly examined, then special instruments are used to clean the exposed root surfaces of the tartar under the gums and to remove bacteria and inflamed tissue from the pockets. This procedure is called curettage. After the treatment, you may experience discomfort and pain for two to three days. The gum healing period is six to eight weeks, during which time it is very important to maintain a very high level of oral hygiene. The result of this process is a reduction in the depth of the pockets, which causes the receding of gums. This is a positive consequence, as it allows areas that were previously uncleanable to be exposed, and thus residues can be removed and bacteria can be prevented from re-growing and re-infection.
WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Periodontal disease is a steadily deteriorating condition of the tissues surrounding the teeth that, if left untreated, can lead to gum and bone atrophy and subsequent tooth loss. Many factors can play a role in its development, including genetics and the composition of oral bacteria, but the two most important causes are poor oral hygiene and smoking.
The formation of tartar, and thus the persistence of bacteria, leads to persistent gingivitis, which can lead to the deterioration of the bone tissue around the tooth. This process can lead to the formation of so-called gum pockets. A gum pocket is a gap between the tooth and the gum, up to 8-10 mm or deeper, where bacteria can easily colonise, making the condition even worse. Unfortunately, there is no way to keep these areas clean at home. The only solution is elimination of the pockets by periodontal treatment, removal of tartar every six months , and continuousmonitoring.
During the treatment, I keep the patient informed of everything, and tell them how often they should come back for a check-up; this depends on the individual, but it usually should take place every six months or once a year. If the patient follows our guidelines, we can achieve very good results.
ARE WE DONE ALREADY?
After the tartar has been removed, we apply a variety of interdental cleaning solutions. At this point, I check the patient’s dentition and choose a so-called “interdental cleaning head”, which I then of course show to the patient so that he or she knows what to use at home after brushing and how to apply it. If the patient’s teeth are very crowded, we also apply polishing strips, and I teach flossing. After the tartar has been removed, the next step is polishing. A small-bristled brush is used to apply polishing paste onto all teeth. As soon as a session is over, we always show the patient the change that has taken place in their mouth.
WHAT DOES A TREATMENT LOOK LIKE?
As a first step, we ask the patient to fill in a past medical history form containing a series of questions. The patient is required to give a statement about any illness, medication or surgery. Once this has been done, the dentist will take notes on the current state of the teeth (dental status). We will then write up a treatment plan and discuss it with the patient. We will explain what the problem is and what we can do to correct it. After the patient signs this document, the treatment can begin. Tartar is removed with an ultrasonic scaler. In all cases, I explain to the patients where and how much tartar has deposited and, since we always document every step of the process, we take a before/after photo to show the result we have achieved. A treatment lasts 60 minutes: during this time, we remove the tartar and provide a full, individualised oral hygiene consultation.
WHAT IS TARTAR AND WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO HAVE IT REMOVED?
Dental plaque is formed from residues deposited on the teeth. Learning the correct brushing technique can reduce the amount of tartar, which is essential for the longevity of the teeth. I often find that patients don’t even know how to clean removable dentures properly, even though residues are deposited on these, too.”
Tartar is full of bacteria. This bacteria causes gum inflammation, discolouration of the teeth and possibly bad breath and tooth decay in the area and perhaps most importantly, a cavity! Through inflamed gums, bacteria enter the bloodstream and cause a host of hidden problems. These can include hair loss, skin problems, joint pain, or even heart attacks or tooth loss.