Deep Cleaning FAQs
What is deep cleaning?
Deep cleaning is also referred to as scaling and root planing. This is the first step in treating periodontal disease. This is a non-surgical treatment. If the gum disease is treated early enough scaling and root planing may be all that needs to be done and prevent periodontal surgery.
Scaling removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and from the pocket between the teeth and gums. Planing involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the tooth roots due to the bone loss that has exposed the root surface. Usually, you need at least two visits to complete a deep cleaning. You will need a follow-up visit/reevaluation to ensure your teeth and gums are healing well and don’t need further gum disease interventions/surgery.
At WisNova Institute of Dental Specialists, a deep cleaning may be performed with traditional manual dental instruments and/or an electric ultrasonic cleaner. Your mouth is numbed with local anesthesia during your appointment.
Who is a candidate for a deep cleaning?
If you’re exhibiting signs of periodontal or gum disease, your periodontist may recommend a deep cleaning. Periodontal/gum disease is an infection due to certain bacteria and other factors that can result in bone loss, swollen gums/gingival, bleeding gums, pain, bad breath, recession and tooth loss. Other factors that can predispose you to periodontal disease can be genetics, smoking, uncontrolled health issues like diabetes, or neglect.
Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in American adults. There is no cure for periodontal disease. Once you have completed treatment for periodontal disease, studies show that if patients continue with good home care (daily brushing and flossing) and a three-month periodontal maintenance/cleaning regimen between the dentist and periodontist, most patients can keep their teeth. Basically, if caught early and treated, you can preserve your smile.
If the doctors see that plaque and tartar have developed under your gum line, you are at risk of tooth decay from periodontal disease. Root scaling and planing, or deep cleaning, is a possible solution.
How do I care for my teeth after a deep cleaning?
You may have some soreness in your teeth and gums following a deep cleaning the same day and day after – typically most patients can return to their daily activities the next day. You may also notice an increase or decrease in sensitivity.
Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll notice your gums feel healthier and less inflamed. You should keep up with your at-home dental hygiene, which means brushing at least two times per day and flossing once per day and a three-month periodontal maintenance/cleaning regimen between the dentist and periodontist. After scaling and root planing, your periodontist will reevaluate/examine the area after 3 weeks and see if further treatment is needed. If the scaling and root planing is done in your dentist’s office, they may refer you to the periodontist office if the area has not healed (probings greater than 4mm).
If you’re concerned about the health of your gums and teeth, call our office or request appointment online.
*The team can help undo missed hygiene visits with deep cleanings.