Although the most common practice performed by your dentist is regular dental cleaning, there are other cleanings available. A deep teeth cleaning, or scaling and root planing, of your teeth and gum line, will serve to help eliminate the possibility of future complications. While a regular cleaning targets the surface through polishing and areas between teeth above the gum line, a deep cleaning goes further. Dental deep cleanings are required to eliminate bacteria, calculus (tartar) and other debris that has accumulated in the hard to reach areas under the gum line. Brushing, flossing and regular cleanings alone will get rid of the buildup and bacteria will thrive. If left untreated, inflammation from bacterial infection will ensue and can progress further to loose teeth, bone loss and possibly the loss of teeth.
The scaling and root planing procedure requires a local anesthetic and as such will likely only be performed in one or two quadrants of your mouth. Individual dentist recommendations may allow for the entire mouth to be treated, however. After a dentist has cleaned below the gum line and removed calculus and debris, they will shape (plane) the root of the tooth to eliminate possible locations for them to deposit in the future. Because this is a more invasive cleaning, recovery is involved but simple. Antibiotics will typically be prescribed along with over-the-counter pain medication. A plan will be given to you regarding when to resume normal hygiene and a follow-up appointment.
If the reason for the deep cleaning is the treatment of gum disease than regular dental maintenance will likely be the course of action. Visits every three months are common to monitor the healing process in the beginning and many patients return to the common 6-month cleanings and a normal routine.
Contact Gables Sedation and Family Dentistry if you have questions or concerns about the health of your teeth and gums. Their expert staff will analyze and present a plan for treatment if the need for a deep cleaning should arise.