Why We Don't Use The Term Dental Cleaning

The term “dental cleaning” is one of the most frequently used terms in dental offices. In fact, you have probably called your dentist a number of times to tell them you need to schedule your dental cleaning.  Recently we started thinking about this widely used term and decided it was not really an accurate description of what happens when you come to see us twice a year so we made the decision to remove it from our vocabulary. Bye bye dental cleanings! It was nice knowing you.

What Really Happens At Our Dental Cleanings

To explain ourselves a little better, let’s briefly list what happens at your semi-annual dental check-ups.

  • All the tartar and calculus buildup is removed from your teeth
  • Radiographs (if necessary) are taken
  • An intraoral / extraoral exam is completed
  • Both the soft tissues (tongue, cheeks) and hard tissues (palate, gums) are carefully examined
  • An oral cancer screening is performed
  • Your teeth are finely polished and flossed
  • Oral hygiene instructions are discussed

With all of these services being performed at your appointments, doesn’t it seem a bit inaccurate to describe them as “dental cleanings?” In reality, the cleaning of your teeth is only a small portion of what is completed when you come to see the dentist twice a year. These appointments are much more valuable than we think most people give them credit for, so we made the decision to call them comprehensive hygiene visits.

Comprehensive Hygiene Visits Promote Your Oral Health

At Rusnak Family Dentistry, we believe a comprehensive hygiene visit more accurately describes what we are doing when you come in for your preventative dental care. Instead of just cleaning your teeth, we are paying attention to the health of your entire mouth. This is just one way that we believe we are providing our patients in Richmond, VA with the highest quality dental care available to them.

Tell Us What You Think

What questions do you have about your comprehensive hygiene visits? Do you agree with our decision to remove the term “dental cleaning” from our vocabulary? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts!

POSTED IN: Dentistry


  1.   Eli Christman


    I’ll stick with “dental cleaning” myself… this new-agey stuff puts a bad flavor in my mouth. No pun intended. It makes me frown. I would leave an office if forced to use the term. Please do not use that term around me on my next dental cleaning.

    I’m not a fan.

    •   admin

      Hi Eli! We appreciate your feedback and are always interested to hear from our patients. Thanks for letting us know your preferences!

  2.   Charles Garrett

    My insurance, “Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield”, pays for one dental visit each 6 months. They pay partially for many unnecessary prescriptions and procedures when I visit a Doctor. It seems odd to me that they would agree to pay anything for a procedure the Doctor asks for that only makes money for the Hospital he works for and does nothing to move toward curing the ailment. Even the medicine is a waste that does nothing but prolong sickness and make money for Pharmaceutical Corporations because the Doctor claims you will be on that med for the rest of your life. I proved him wrong and was off the Med in 2 months. The Insurance will pay for trash and fraud prescribed by a failed medical system but refuses to pay for a Root Canal that is very necessary. I have had to rather look into alternative treatment to rid my tooth of infection such as Vitamin B5 in mega dosages. Garlic capsules to fight infection in my body and eating only Whole Foods because processed foods cause infections in the body. I have needed the Root Canal for over 2 years now and I am sick of my Insurance Company stealing $6K of my income every year and providing nothing but a Dental Visit each 6 month period. I know Obama Care will be extremely worse and would never sign up for that treasonous attack against American Liberty. The Medical System in America is trash but the Federal Government does not work and combining the two will only prove to be a national catastrophe. Are there any other treatments I might try to heal the abscess?

    •   admin

      Hey Charles! Thanks for commenting on our blog. The biggest thing to understand is that there are major differences between your medical coverage and dental coverage even when both policies are with the same insurance provider. Our best advice is to continue with your 6 month hygiene visits in order to keep harmful bacteria at bay, and to meet with someone from our office who can work out a plan to get you the dental treatment that you need. Unfortunately there is not an alternative treatment option for root canals. While there may be options to help ease the pain, dental problems only get worse with time if they are not fixed. Living with dental pain is no way to live. We hope you will give us a call so we can work towards getting you the treatment you need.

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