Walter C. Dukes DDS Dentist Logo Santa Barbara CA

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1809 CLIFF DRIVE, SUITE D, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

• 805-335-6780

To prevent tooth decay and plaque from hardening into tartar, and to identify any trouble spots, Dr. Walter Dukes provides professional dental cleanings and exams in Santa Barbara, California. Our goal is to diagnose and treat any problems before they become serious so that you can walk out of our office with a clean, fresh mouth and a confident smile. Contact Dentist Santa Barbara CA | Family Dentistry | Mesa Dental today at 805-963-1222 to make your appointment with our dentist and learn more about dental cleanings and exams in Santa Barbara, California.

What Does a Regular Dental Cleaning Involve?



Our dental hygienists at Dr. Walter Duke’s office will perform most teeth cleanings. However, if you need deep cleaning, Dr. Walter will handle this procedure. Before the procedure starts, though, a physical examination of your teeth and mouth must be conducted. This will help the hygienists to find any signs of inflamed gums and other dental issues. If major problems are detected, our dental hygienists will call the dentist to further inspect your mouth and teeth.

Plaque and Tartar Removal

Scaling will start to remove any plaque and tartar that form around your gum line and between your teeth. It takes more time to scrape your teeth if there is a significant tartar buildup. Even if you brush and floss every day, tartar can still build up. Although plaque can be removed through proper brushing and flossing, tartar removal requires a dental tool. That’s why you need to visit your dentist’s office regularly to have the tartar removed by your dentist or dental hygienist.

Use of High-Powered Brush

After the hygienist removes the tartar completely, a high-powered electric brush is used to brush your teeth. This, too, makes a grinding noise that can be scary if you are not used to it. However, this brush is necessary to get rid of any tartar that is left behind. The high-powered toothbrush scrubs your teeth gently. It is called polishing. This procedure includes the use of a regular toothpaste that has a gritty consistency that can gently scare your teeth for further cleaning. It is vital that when you brush your teeth at home, you must not be harsh with your teeth as it can only wear down the teeth enamel.

Professional Flossing

Apart from flossing regularly at home, the hygienist will perform professional flossing to further remove any debris between your teeth. The hygienist will also find any problem spots that might cause your gums to bleed. A professional floss will eliminate any leftover from the cleaning process done earlier.


To fully get rid of your mouth from any debris, you will have to rinse your mouth with liquid fluoride.

Does Regular Dental Cleaning Involve Fluoride Application?

At Dr. Walter’s office, the last part of regular dental cleaning involves the application of fluoride. This treatment involves the protection of your teeth to fight against dental cavities. The hygienist will place a foamy or sticky paste in a mouthpiece and fit it over your teeth. It is left in your mouth for at least one minute. Furthermore, fluoride varnish is painted on your teeth using a small brush.

Although the varnish can harden when it comes in contact with saliva, you should avoid drinking and eating after the procedure. You will have to wait for at least 30 minutes before you can eat and drink.

How Often to Receive Regular Dental Cleaning?

It depends on your situation. Regular dental cleaning should be done twice a year. However, Dr. Walter may recommend for you to undergo dental cleaning thrice a year. It is especially true if you are prone to tartar buildup.

Dr. Walter may also request that you have an x-ray done per year. However, it is not always the case for every patient. It depends on what your dentist or hygienist has observed during the dental cleaning. Apart from fluoride treatment, kids may need molar sealants to further prevent dental cavities, especially in the hard-to-reach areas. Regular dental cleaning procedure at Dr. Walter’s office is thorough. However, if you wish to maximize its benefits, make sure that you practice excellent dental hygiene practices at home. That is, you need to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. You may also use fluoride mouth rinse or anti-bacterial mouthwash as recommended by the dentist.

The effects of dental cleaning may only last a few months. That is why you need to go back to Dr. Walter’s office as recommended for regular teeth cleaning. It will also prevent future problems. Regular dental cleanings are vital so that any dental issues can be alleviated early. In that way, these issues do not have to cause further problems that may result in expensive treatments. To schedule your regular dental cleaning with Dr. Walter Duke’s dental hygienists, please call us at 805-963-1222.

Importance of Deep Cleaning

Dental deep cleanings are necessary for some patients. Although the procedure is complex, it is all worth it. This treatment option is vital for patients suffering from chronic gum disease. This procedure involves removing plaque and bacteria accumulating below the gums. The goal here is to prevent bone loss that can lead to tooth loss. Before you will experience such a procedure, Dr. Walter Dukes will check your mouth and teeth first. An x-ray may be requested to know whether or not you have tooth decay. At Mesa Dental, we do not pressure our patients into spending their money on deep cleanings. Rather, we only recommend it to patients who badly need it. In some cases, regular dental cleaning is enough to thoroughly clean the teeth.

When It Is Necessary?

Dental deep cleanings are necessary when the x-rays exhibit bone loss. Furthermore, this procedure is vital if your full-mouth examination shows gum pockets with a depth of more than 4 mm. However, the treatment should only be limited to the mouth quadrant. In other words, Dr. Walter will only treat the area that is affected. After the procedure, the patient has to practice excellent oral hygiene to prevent gum disease. That is, you must floss and brush every day. It is especially true after consuming sugary drinks and foods. And make sure to quit the nasty habit of smoking. When you visit Mesa Dental, our dentist will measure the area around your teeth. The dentist uses a probe that allows him to see any pocketing. The pockets are the depth of gum tissue between the gums and teeth. Every adult has to undergo a periodontal evaluation each year.

In this way, their dentists can determine whether they need additional treatment on top of the regular dental cleaning. Keep in mind that pocket depth measurement is only a small part of a full-mouth dental evaluation at Mesa Dental. If the pockets are more than 5 mm, Dr. Walter may recommend deep scaling and root planing. Our dental hygienist at Mesa Dental will perform this procedure. In deep cleanings, scaling requires the use of ultrasonic instruments. Another is root planing. In here, a scaling instrument is used to get rid of the plaque and tartar forming in the surface of the roots.

This procedure may need two visits. Then, you will have to visit Mesa Dental for a follow-up checkup to find out if the gums and teeth are healthier. Dr. Walter will also examine your mouth if you no longer have pocket depth.

After Care

Deep cleanings will remove the bacteria in the pockets of the teeth. Thus, you can expect your gums to be healthier, a few weeks after the procedure. However, you must practice excellent oral hygiene each day. You may also need to use a mouth rinse, like an antibacterial mouthwash to further reduce bacterial growth in your mouth. However, if you have been practicing excellent dental hygiene after deep cleanings but your periodontal disease persists, you may need to undergo surgery. Dr. Walter may refer you to a periodontist for further evaluation.

Non-Invasive Procedure

Deep cleanings procedure is a non-invasive procedure. Thus, too much discomfort is not expected. However, it can be painful during the procedure. But the intensity of the pain will depend on the depth of the pockets. For that reason, Dr. Walter Dukes may apply a topical numbing solution on the affected area. If that is not enough, a sedative drug may be applied. Gum disease must not be taken for granted to prevent it from advancing. If Dr. Walter recommends deep cleanings, there is no need to worry about it because the procedure is safe. After the procedure, make sure to follow Dr. Walter’s after-care instructions. In that way, your gum disease will not worsen.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Walter Dukes, contact Mesa Dental today: 805-963-1222.