What is a Deep Cleaning?
Deep cleanings, also known as a scaling and root planing, are done when there are signs of gingivitis, gum disease, or heavy buildup on the teeth. When you have gingivitis and gum disease, pockets form around each tooth that can harbor bacteria. Over time, this bacteria infects the healthy gum tissue, further pulling it away from the tooth. If left untreated, gum disease can become aggressive, resulting in both tooth and bone loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, and a staggering 49 percent of adult patients have some form of periodontal disease. A scaling and root planing, or deep cleaning, works to clean in and under these gingival pockets to get rid of infection-causing bacteria.
Why would you need a Deep Cleaning?
Most often, a deep cleaning is recommended if you have gingivitis or gum disease. The procedure works by scraping away at plaque and bacteria deep in the gingival pockets around the teeth. The roots are then smoothed, which prevents excess bacteria from adhering to them, causing additional damage to the teeth and gums. If you have heavy buildup on your teeth, you may be told that you need a deeper cleaning to remove all of the plaque, tartar, and stains. Patients who fail to visit the dentist regularly may develop heavy plaque and calculus buildup on their teeth over the course of many years. Deep cleanings involve a local anesthetic to make the appointment more comfortable for you while the work is being done. The cleaning is done by a licensed dental hygienist trained in performing scaling and root planing.
What makes you a good candidate for a Deep Cleaning?
During a routine examination, we can determine if a deeper cleaning is needed. During your hygiene appointment, the hygienist will measure your gum pockets using a small tool. If the measurement value is higher than what is deemed healthy, you may need to come back for a deeper dental cleaning. Likewise, a deep cleaning may be necessary if you have exceptionally heavy buildup on your teeth because it’s been more than six months since you’ve been to see a dentist. The majority of patients who need and receive a deeper cleaning have some type of gum disease, whether it is mild or severe.
What can you expect during a Deep Cleaning?
Dr. Bassiri will come into the room and administer a local anesthetic. This is meant to make the procedure more comfortable for you. The hygienist then gets to work on scraping debris off of the crowns of the teeth in the affected area, and going deep below the gum line into the gingival pockets. The roots of each tooth are then smoothed so that bacteria doesn’t have a suitable surface to adhere to. Oftentimes, only one side of the mouth is worked on at a time to prevent your entire mouth from being numb. You will need to come back in to have the other side of your mouth deep cleaned at your earliest convenience. You can think of a deep cleaning as a type of periodontal maintenance, since it helps to stop the spread of periodontal disease, and the disease-causing bacteria that can affect both gums and bone. Deep cleanings are often done in less than an hour in the office and can provide you with a fresher, cleaner smile.