Professional tooth cleaning


In the oral cavity there are billions of different bacteria that colonize the mucous membranes. The entirety of these microorganisms is called Oral flora designated. It is usually in equilibrium so that infection does not occur as the disease-causing bacteria are kept in check by others. If the balance is disturbed, however, pathogenic agents get the upper hand and the result is diseases.

Also read our topic: dental care.


On the Teeth viscous deposits arise, which from Secretions, Cells of the oral cavity, Leftovers and especially bacteria consist. The color of these toppings, too Plaque called, resembles those of the teeth, making them difficult to spot. In these plaque are among other things for the Caries responsible Streptococciwho, with sugar intake through their metabolism which produce aggressive acids that attack tooth enamel.

There are also other microorganisms there that can Gingivitis, which cause inflammation of the gums. If the plaque is not removed, carious lesions and gingivitis and Periodontal disease/ Periodontal disease.

That is why it is important to remove this harmful dental plaque. Since new deposits form over and over again in a short time, the teeth must be cleaned every day. If the deposits persist for a long time, calculus builds up tartar.

Home oral hygiene

For the cleaning of the teeth / professional cleaning and thus the removal of the plaque, the necessary tools are available for daily home use. These include toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and interdental brushes. If used correctly, plaque can be removed. It is best to brush your teeth according to a specific scheme so that all sides of the teeth are reached. In most cases, however, the time required for this is not observed. This means that some of the deposits remain. These residues can be made visible using commercially available plaque staining tablets.

Read more on the topic:

  • Oral hygiene
  • How to brush your teeth properly


You will be amazed at how much of the plaque is left after brushing.

Professional tooth cleaning

Taking care of your teeth at home is essential, but it cannot eliminate all risk factors. Especially that caused by calcification of the soft deposits Tartar cannot be eliminated by brushing your teeth. Tartar is not dangerous in itself, but its rough surface makes it an ideal starting point for new deposits. Especially in the places where he is in contact with the Gums stands.

The tartar can only be removed in the dental practice. The professional cleaning of teeth In the majority of cases, the dentist does not do this personally, but delegates this activity to specially trained dental assistants. This zahnmmedical F.maids, in short ZMF called, have completed additional training and are therefore entitled to carry out certain work in the mouth of the patient, for example professional teeth cleaning.

Professional approach

First of all, the Tartar above and below the Gums by means of Ultrasonic and Hand instruments away. It can lead to light bleeding if the gums are under the Tartar has already ignited. This bleeding soon stops and the gums regenerate very quickly, as the irritation from the tartar is no longer there. The development of tartar varies greatly from person to person, with some patients it forms very quickly, with others very slowly. That may be with the composition of the Saliva related.

The soft deposits are thoroughly removed with rotating brushes and an abrasive paste. Areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, such as interdental spaces or niches, are also given special consideration. In this way, every single tooth is made absolutely free of plaque. Once tartar and plaque have been removed, each tooth is polished because the smoother the tooth, the more difficult it is for new plaque to adhere. Finally, we recommend treating the teeth with a Fluoride gel or paint.

Professional teeth cleaning with ultrasound

Deposits above or below the gums can be removed manually or with an ultrasound device, which is especially popular with severe tartar infestation. Both the EMS device and the Cavitron are preferred. The tip of the device vibrates at a very high frequency (20 kHz) and "bursts" the deposits from the teeth without damaging them. Caution should be exercised in patients with a pacemaker, as the use of ultrasound can impair the functionality of the pacemaker and is therefore contraindicated.

Read more on the topic: Scaler or Ultrasonic toothbrush

Does professional teeth cleaning make sense?

In general, professional teeth cleaning makes sense for everyone from the age of 18. During the application, especially the areas that the patient can hardly reach are thoroughly cleaned. Tartar is removed above and below the gums, which is quite relevant, as these deposits can trigger a generalized inflammation of the gums, known as periodontitis. The bacteria within the tartar inflame the gums around the tooth and can peel off the bone, which can lead to tooth loosening and, in the worst case, tooth loss.

Read more on the topic: Periodontal disease

In addition, the bacteria from the oral cavity can get into the bloodstream and lead to heart and circulatory diseases. Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart and myocardial infarction are possible secondary diseases that can be life-threatening. Studies have already shown that regular professional teeth cleaning has been shown to reduce the risk of periodontitis and maintain dental health. Discoloration caused by the consumption of coffee, tea, wine and nicotine can also be removed. As a result, the teeth are aesthetically brightened.

How often should professional teeth cleaning be done?

When deciding how often professional teeth cleaning should be used, the individual patient situation, dental health and oral hygiene are decisive. The general recommendation for the frequency of professional teeth cleaning is 1-2 times a year. For young patients with good oral hygiene, a single treatment per year may be sufficient. Nevertheless, the tartar should also be removed once a year during the dental check-up.
Anyone who is particularly badly affected by tartar can, after the instruction of the dentist or the prophylactic assistant, independently remedy the situation with a tartar scraper between professional tooth cleanings.

The advice is different for patients who have already had periodontitis, a generalized inflammation of the entire periodontium. In this group of patients, cleaning 3 or 4 times a year may be indicated. This frequency is necessary to restore dental health and to ensure it is long-lasting. An increased frequency of cleaning is also advisable for patients who can only practice hygiene of the oral cavity to a limited extent.

Read more on the topic: Professional teeth cleaning - how often is it necessary?

How long should nothing be eaten after that?

After a professional tooth cleaning, fluoridation is applied to all teeth. So that this can take effect and protect the teeth after the treatment, it makes sense not to eat or drink for about an hour. If the gums were numbed during cleaning, they should not eat or drink until the anesthetic effect has completely subsided. In addition, care should be taken to avoid colored foods such as berries, tea, wine and coffee for the first 2 hours after the treatment in order to maintain the lightening effect for a long time. If the sealing of the teeth is guaranteed after the 2 hours, you can eat and drink again without any waiver.

How long afterwards should you not smoke?

With a professional teeth cleaning, all plaque deposits on the teeth and below the gums are removed. The gums are irritated and stressed so much that bleeding can occur. It can take one to two days for the gums to completely regenerate. During this time you should not smoke, as smoking adversely affects wound healing. Smoking directly after cleaning can lead to complications and wound healing disorders. The gums can become inflamed and the healing time can be greatly extended. This can also be associated with pain.


Certain foods and luxury foods (see also nutrition) like blueberries, red wine or tea, medicines like Tetracycline or Antiseptics how Chlorhexidine digluconate can lead to discoloration of the tooth surfaces. This is especially true Smoker to. Here it is mainly pipe smokers and cigar smokers where the tar residues sometimes lead to massive discoloration.

The recommended smoking toothpastes should not be used frequently because of their high abrasiveness. The dentist can prevent this discoloration by applying something called a Air flow, a powder jet device. The aesthetically disturbing deposits are removed using salt crystals at high pressure, similar to a sandblasting blower. In the electron microscope you can see that there is also slight damage to the enamel surface, but this can be repaired with the help of saliva.

For more information read our topic: White teeth.

How long does a professional teeth cleaning take?

Depending on the treatment steps and the equipment used, the duration of a professional tooth cleaning can vary. There are practices that include applications with airflow that last longer than classic cleaning. Airflow can be compared to a sandblasting device, in which a mixture of particles and air removes stubborn stains from the teeth. Another factor that affects duration is the patient's general state of dental health. If the oral hygiene is good and the patient regularly cares for his teeth, cleaning is much faster than with patients whose dental care skills are limited.

In the case of inflammatory diseases of the gums or gums, heavy bleeding and a high number of plaque deposits can prolong the duration of professional teeth cleaning. In general, cleaning should take at least one hour into account. In the case of poor oral hygiene, the application can also be greatly extended. Often a check-up of the dentist is added, which lasts another half an hour.

Price / cost

The "Professional tooth cleaning" (short PCR) is the most important method of preventing diseases within the oral cavity, along with daily oral hygiene.

It is used exclusively in the Dentist office from dentist carried out themselves or by specially trained staff and the cleaning performance goes well beyond what the patient can achieve independently. Careful cleaning of the spaces between the teeth (interdental spaces) and the gum line is very difficult for most patients.
But it is precisely these dirt niches that form ideal breeding grounds for bacteria that colonize, multiply and both tooth and as well as that Gums harm by their waste products.
Carious defects, Inflammation of the gums, Inflammation of the periodontium (for example a Periodontal disease) and / or other diseases are the result.

Just at older people should therefore regular professional teeth cleaning be performed.

The costs of professional teeth cleaning in Germany vary between 40 and 150 euros, it is therefore worthwhile to compare the prices in different dental practices. However, the quality and the time required also vary.
However, the patient should be aware that good quality usually has its price. It can often be seen that inexpensive tooth cleanings are carried out less carefully and extensively. Therefore, costs alone should not influence the decision. There are, however, exceptions to this.
Furthermore, it must be considered how regularly one goes to professional teeth cleaning. If you go annually, the effort is certainly less than with a "first time".

The statutory health insurances (GKV) cover the costs professional teeth cleaning in most cases Not, just removing Tartar deposits is being carried.
The patient has to pay for this prophylactic measure out of his own pocket and is left with the costs.
However, a few health insurance companies have now included professional tooth cleaning as a goodwill service in their range of services. When the invoice is submitted, the costs of professional teeth cleaning will be reimbursed.
It is therefore worthwhile for the patient to ask their own health insurance company whether the teeth cleaning is at least partially covered.

In most cases, supplementary dental insurance and private health insurance cover the entire cost of professional teeth cleaning (depending on the agreed tariff).

Can professional teeth cleaning be tax-deductible?

It is actually possible to deduct professional teeth cleaning, even if only partially, from the tax, provided it is declared as an extraordinary burden in income tax. From the so-called extraordinary burdens, reasonable burdens are deducted, which differ greatly. The reasonable burdens are determined according to income and living conditions (partnership and children) and deducted from the extraordinary. In this respect, the proportion that can ultimately be sold can be low or high and vary widely.

Disadvantages of professional teeth cleaning

The disadvantages of professional teeth cleaning are generally negligible and only relevant for risk groups. This includes the fact that in the case of inflammatory gums, bacteria from the gum pockets can get to the surface and get into the bloodstream. These bacteria can cause an inflammation of the lining of the heart called endocarditis in patients with heart defects or heart valve replacements.

This risk does not exist in cardially healthy patients. Furthermore, when using the powder jet device, the Airflow, if used incorrectly, emphysema can occur. This can happen when the air-powder mixture penetrates the gum tissue. As a result, the affected area can become inflamed and swollen. However, these symptoms subside completely after a few days.

In addition, after professional teeth cleaning, the gums can be sensitive and irritated for a few days, and bleeding is also possible. These negative consequences are already forgotten after 2-3 days, so that in conclusion it can be said that only patients at risk for endocarditis can draw disadvantages from cleaning. These can be contained by a prophylactic administration of antibiotics and thus these patients can also receive carefree treatment.

Learn more about: Endocarditis prophylaxis

Is it possible to have professional teeth cleaning during pregnancy?

The hormonal change during pregnancy also changes the environment in the oral cavity. The gums are easily inflamed and bleeding. In general, professional teeth cleaning is not a contraindication during pregnancy, provided that a few things are observed. The timing is crucial. It is advisable to cleanse in the 2nd trimester, the 13th to 28th week of pregnancy, as this period is the most stable phase in pregnancy.

During this period of time, cleaning can heal the inflammation of the gums, alleviate discomfort and minimize bacterial colonization in the oral cavity. In the first trimester (1st - 12th week) the vital organs of the child are formed and it is the most vulnerable phase of pregnancy, which is why its use can be risky. In the last phase of pregnancy (from the 29th week) professional teeth cleaning is also not advisable, because the pregnant woman may only lie on her left side, otherwise the child will compress the portal vein in the abdomen and that Vena Cava Syndrome can trigger. This situation complicates the treatment. It is generally important that after professional tooth cleaning, the oral cavity is disinfected so that released bacteria cannot get into the bloodstream and do not even reach the child's circulation.

Read more on the topic: Vena-Cava Compression Syndrome

How painful is professional teeth cleaning?

As a rule, professional teeth cleaning is associated with a low level of pain and is easy to endure without sedation. If a mechanical ultrasound device is used, the feeling is comparable to the removal of tartar at the annual dental check-up. Furthermore, there may be bleeding gums and slight irritation of the gums, which is associated with wound pain. The sensitivity is different for each patient, while the treatment is painless for one, it can be unbearable for the other. If the treatment is unbearable, the entire gum area can be numbed. The dentist can invoice this service privately if necessary.

Criticism of professional teeth cleaning

The method of professional tooth cleaning has only become so present and important within the last decade, and critics complain that there is too little evidence to justify the relevance of cleaning in the dental practice today. It has been proven that patients with periodontal disease can be shown to improve dental health through regular cleaning and thereby improve the inflammation of the gums. Since the population is getting older and periodontitis is a widespread disease affecting 70% of those over 40 years of age, its use is advisable.

However, how relevant professional teeth cleaning is for young healthy patients has not been well researched. Dentists themselves argue about whether the application is even necessary for young adults aged 18-25, but preventively it can not harm, but only promote dental health. During use, areas in the oral cavity are cleaned that are very difficult for the patient to clean and therefore plaque deposits arise there. The bacteria it contains have been proven to enter the bloodstream and lead to systemic diseases. There is therefore no negative assessment for professional cleaning in all age groups, because a clean oral cavity is also a healthy one.


The professional tooth cleaning complements the home oral care very crucial. Above all, it removes the tartar that is left over with the household aids Oral hygiene cannot be removed. The teeth are also cleaned on tooth surfaces that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Professional teeth cleaning ensures 100% Plaque free reached. Discoloration is removed with Air Flow. Professional teeth cleaning, together with home oral hygiene, is therefore a prophylaxis of Caries and diseases of the tooth support system.