If you have gingivitis, a deep cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing, can restore your gum health. We perform deep cleanings to remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria and prevent the progression of periodontal disease.
Deep Cleaning FAQ’s
What is a deep cleaning?
You may think of the cleaning you get at a routine dental checkup as a “deep cleaning.” In fact, a deep cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing, is a specific procedure to treat gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.
In a routine dental cleaning, your dentist or hygienist cleans your teeth to remove plaque and tartar. In a deep cleaning, they also remove plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth and smooth out the rough spots in your gums where bacteria may collect.
When is a deep cleaning necessary?
Your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning if you show signs of gum disease. When plaque builds up in your mouth, the bacteria cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, resulting in spaces called “pockets.”
If your pockets are too large to clean through a routine cleaning, the next step may be a deep cleaning.
A deep cleaning is often a necessary step to prevent severe periodontal disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can permanently destroy bone and connective tissue in your mouth and cause you to lose teeth.
What can I expect from a deep cleaning?
There are two steps to a deep cleaning: scaling and root planing.
During scaling, your dentist removes the tartar, plaque, and bacteria from your teeth, gums, and the pockets between your teeth and gums.
During root planing, your dentist smooths out your tooth roots. This helps your gums reattach to your teeth.
Our practice uses laser dentistry techniques to treat periodontal disease. This causes less discomfort, bleeding, and swelling than traditional metal instruments. However, your gums may still feel tender for a few days after the procedure.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Gum disease usually results at least in part from poor dental hygiene. It’s important to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and come in for regular cleanings and checkups.
That’s the best way to stop plaque, tartar, and bacteria from accumulating in your mouth and causing gum disease.
If you have a deep cleaning, your dentist may recommend getting regular dental cleanings every three to four months instead of continuing with the standard six-month schedule.
In addition to good at-home dental hygiene and eating a healthy, balanced diet, these maintenance cleanings can prevent gum disease from returning.