You could say that a normal dental cleaning is the car wash and a deep cleaning is the detailing procedure. However, when your dental health is involved, it’s a little more complicated than that.
What is a Deep Cleaning?
Medically-known as “scaling and root planing” or SRP, this treatment does more than simply get your teeth “extra clean.”
Scaling is the removal of tartar from teeth. Root planing means smoothing out the surface of tooth roots that are roughened with bacteria and tartar. These techniques are combined in a “deep cleaning” procedure. This treatment requires specialized dental tools and is often broken up into multiple appointments due to complexity.
Contrary to how it may sound, SRP is more of a medical treatment instead of a superficial, cosmetic one.
Understanding Gum Disease
Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, which is gum inflammation in response to bacteria. As the bacteria spread, the inflammation worsens. Combine this with tartar buildup at and below the gum line, and you’ve got a problem on your hands.
Without medical intervention, gum disease will lead to tooth-loss. A deep cleaning is the medical standard for stopping the infection right in its tracks.
A Regular Cleaning Won’t Cut It!
To really nip the problem in the bud, you need a deep cleaning. Gum disease creates deep pockets of infected and damaged tissue around teeth. You can’t access these pockets with a toothbrush and floss, alone.
A deep cleaning might sound like a luxury dental treatment. But it’s actually a procedure that’s essential for anyone suffering from gum disease. Contact your dentist to schedule a gum health assessment to find out whether a deep cleaning is right for you.
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If you’ve been told by your dentist that you need a deep cleaning, be prepared for a lengthy procedure that can sometimes take two appointments. After all, it took awhile for the plaque to build up along your gum line and it’s going to take time to remove it.
Commonly referred to as deep cleaning, the process is technically called scaling and root planing. It is a procedure often done by a periodontist and one of the main methods of treating periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by the build-up of tartar and plaque around the gum line. If the periodontal disease has progressed, your gums may be inflamed and may even be receding.
During the procedure, the doctor may use a local anesthesia to avoid any potential pain. Then, he will use a special scaling tool to remove the hardened mineral deposits from the teeth and gum line. In worse cases, a planing tool is used to clean deep below the gum line and into the roots. Alternately, some dentists will use an ultrasonic device to do both scaling and planing.
Depending on the extent of tartar buildup, another session may be needed to clean, say, the upper teeth. The periodontist might place antibiotic fibers between the teeth to prevent infection, which tends to be the biggest risk in this type of procedure.
If the cleaning goes well, the gums will eventually go back into their proper place, and with good dental hygiene in the aftermath, there is a good chance the risk of periodontal disease will be greatly reduced.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Eberhard, Mockingbird Dental Associates
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