Debridement: The Dental Procedure for cleaning your Teeth

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 25, 2011

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What Is It


Debridement means removal of excessive plaque and tartar from your teeth.


What is it used for


Debridement is needed in people who have excessive plaque and tartar (calculus) deposition on their teeth. Sometimes the plaque and tartar deposition on the teeth can be so profound that the dentist can't see and examine the teeth. In such people the plaque and tartar has to be removed by debridement prior to examination.




If you are sensitive to pain you might need local anesthesia before the procedure. Some people may need some form of sedation, such as nitrous oxide before debridement. People who are very scared of dental procedures may also need anesthesia or sedation to make them comfortable.


How It's Done


Debridement is done using a combination of hand instruments and an ultrasonic device. Water and high-frequency vibrations are used by the device to remove plaque and tartar from teeth.




In periodontal treatment debridement is done first. Following this your dentist will re-assess your teeth and decide on the appropriate course of treatment. The subsequent treatment may involve scaling and root planing or periodontal surgery.




If your gums are affected by the plaque (inflamed due to plaque) they may bleed while doing debridement. At times your teeth may become sensitive to temperature (hot and/or cold) following debridement. This occurs due to exposure of the roots of the teeth after removal of plaque and tartar.


Infection is another risk of debridement. But it occurs very rarely.


When to consult your dentist


Consult your dentist if

  • You have prolonged bleeding
  • You think the area has become infected
  • There is excessive swelling or discharge from the area
  • Lymph nodes under your lower jaw or in your neck develop swelling


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