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What is a Full Mouth Debridement?

If you haven't had a dental cleaning in several years and your brushing and flossing has been lacking, then there is a chance that the next time you visit your Dentist they may recommend a full mouth debridement before they are able to do an examination of your teeth and gums.

Whenever I use the term full mouth debridement on a patient that needs one, most of them will stare back at me with a confused face, and I don't blame them. Even when I was in hygiene school we never really used the term full mouth debridement. I only ever remember seeing the term in a few of my books. However, after I graduated school and got to work at a few different dental offices, I worked with a few dentists that recommended a full mouth debridement on some occasions. So with a little help of the ADA and my work experience here is a simple explanation of what a full mouth debridement entails.

What is a Full Mouth Debridement?

According to the ADA a "Full mouth debridement involves the preliminary removal of plaque and calculus that interferes with the ability of the dentist to perform a comprehensive oral evaluation. Not to be completed on the same day as D0150, D0160, or D0180." In other words, if your dentist finds that you have a significant amount of plaque and/or tartar buildup that will prevent them from doing a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, then they will recommend for you to have a full mouth debridement done before they do an exam.

It is important to know that the full mouth debridement is the only procedure that you will have done during that visit. Typically your dentist will have you come back after a few days or weeks so they can then thoroughly examine your teeth and gums. The reason why the dental exam can't be completed during the same visit is because the inflammation of your gums needs to subside before your dentist can thoroughly check and adequately evaluate your gums and/or teeth's condition.

I've seen a few cases where the patient had so much build up that it was impossible for the dentist to check the chewing surfaces of the teeth and get in between the teeth and gums to precisely perio probe the patient's gums. Even right after the debridement the patient's gums were not in a condition to adequately measure their pockets/depths and determine their true periodontal condition. That's why you have to wait a few days for the inflammation to subside and do the dental exam.

I hope this give you a better understanding of what a full mouth debridement is and thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, we hope that you found it educational. If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below. If you enjoyed and found it educational please share it with your friends and family on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. It only takes 1 minute of your time and it helps us out a lot. Thanks! :)



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