During a regular dental checkup at Merry Dental, your hygienist will professionally clean your teeth using tools and instruments that remove any built-up plaque or tartar that could impact the health of your teeth and gums. If you have a significant buildup of plaque or tartar, especially below your gumline, they might suggest you get a deep cleaning to keep your smile healthy.
Keep reading to learn more about deep cleaning, including what happens during this treatment at your dentist!
Why Would I Need a Deep Cleaning?
When plaque and tartar build up on teeth and below the gumline, it can form “pockets” of bacteria that can irritate your gums, causing sensitivity, bleeding, and swelling. Deep cleaning can prevent you from developing gum disease, which can eventually lead to more serious periodontal disease.
What is a Deep Cleaning?
There are two parts to a deep cleaning: scaling and root planing. While these two procedures are not always performed together, when combined, they offer the best way to prevent gum disease.
During a scaling procedure, your dentist uses specialized dental instruments, like a scaler or an ultrasonic scaling instrument, to remove plaque and tartar deposits from the surfaces of your teeth, including below the gumline. They will carefully scrape these deposits away, targeting not only the surface of your teeth but also any pockets of buildup below the gumline.
A scaling procedure is usually followed up with a root planing treatment. In a root planing procedure, your dentist will smooth out any rough areas on the roots of your teeth.
This removes any remaining bacteria, plaque, or tartar that may have adhered to the roots of your teeth and could not be removed during scaling. Smoothing the roots of your teeth makes it easier for your gums to reattach to your teeth after a deep cleaning.
What Happens During a Deep Cleaning?
When you come in for a deep cleaning, your dental professional will often use a topical or local anesthetic to numb the areas to be scaled and planed. This is done to ensure your comfort during the procedure, especially if your gums are sensitive or you have deeper pockets of buildup to be removed.
After the procedure has been completed, you can immediately resume your normal activities. Any numbness from the anesthetic used should quickly wear off.
Following a deep cleaning, you may have some soreness or discomfort, but this usually clears up within a day or so. Using an antiseptic mouthwash or swishing with warm, salty water can help minimize post-procedure symptoms.
How Often Will I Need a Deep Cleaning?
How often you might need a deep cleaning depends on the continuing health of your teeth and gums. For some people, a deep cleaning can reverse the effects of the earliest stage of gum disease called gingivitis.
With proper post-procedure care, only a single procedure might be required. If you have more advanced gum disease or periodontal disease, you may need more frequent deep cleanings.
Depending on the stage of your gum or periodontal disease, we may recommend a deep cleaning one or more times annually to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In addition to home dental health care, scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings can ensure that the benefits of deep cleaning are long-lasting.
While bi-annual visits are recommended for most people, if you have gum or periodontal disease, more frequent cleanings may be required to maintain the health of your smile!
Are you interested in learning more about deep cleanings? Schedule an appointment at Merry Dental in Billerica, MA, today!