Deep cleaning your teeth might sound like something you should do after you’ve missed a few visits to the dentist or eaten a particularly sticky, messy meal. Deep cleaning is a specific procedure performed by your dental hygienist to treat gum and periodontal disease. It’s often completed because a person has not had regular professional cleaning appointments every six months.
The Need for Deep Cleaning in Lancaster Texas
When going to the dentist, the dental hygienist will use an instrument called a probe to measure the area around your teeth to see if you have any pocketing (the area between the tooth and gum where bacteria will form). The depth of the gum tissue between the teeth and gums is called pockets when it is five millimeters or more. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that every adult receive a periodontal evaluation each year to determine whether additional treatment is needed. Measuring pocket depth is just one part of a comprehensive dental evaluation.
Ideally, normal healthy pockets will be no more than 3 millimeters deep, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). If the pockets are greater than 5 millimeters, your dentist might prescribe a deep scaling and root planing appointment with the dental hygienist.
What Is Deep Cleaning in Lancaster Texas?
During a regular dental cleaning (sometimes called scaling), your dental hygienist or dentist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline. Deep cleaning in Lancaster Texas involves the same removal of tartar and plaque at and below the gumline as well as careful cleaning of the roots’ surfaces (called root planing).
If your dentist thinks good oral care at home isn’t enough to manage your mild case of gum disease (called gingivitis), he or she might recommend a deep cleaning in Lancaster Texas. It is almost always the first line of treatment for the more advanced form of gum disease, called periodontitis. Deep cleanings help patients avoid more drastic treatments for gum disease, which if left untreated could lead to tooth loss.
Root planing removes plaque and tartar from these roots and smooths out the root’s rough spots where bacteria collect, helping remove the bacteria that contribute to gum disease and giving the gums a smooth surface to reattach. Root planing may take one to two hours over several visits with the dental hygienist at your dentist’s office. You typically may receive a local anesthetic or numbing gel before the procedure begins.
Root planing may use traditional dental instruments (scalers, ultrasonic cleaner, or both) or a laser to remove plaque and tartar. The use of a laser typically causes less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort than traditional deep cleaning methods, according to the NIDCR, but it requires specialized training on the part of your dentist. In some cases, deep cleaning also includes the application of antimicrobials that are placed below the gum line to kill bacteria, according to the AAP.
Deep Cleaning Process
Deep cleaning is also known in the dental world as scaling and root planing. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and the pocket area between the teeth and gums, according to the NIDCR. The dental hygienist can perform scaling and root planing using either electric or ultrasonic instruments or manual scaling tools.
The other part of deep cleaning is root planing. The dental hygienist will use a scaling instrument to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots of your teeth. Scaling and root planing procedure will require a minimum of two visits as an appointment. A follow-up visit may be necessary to confirm that your gums and teeth are getting healthier and there is no pocket depth.
After Your Deep Cleaning
You may experience soreness, tooth sensitivity, or bleeding for a few days after scaling and root planing. Don’t hesitate to see your dentist for a follow-up appointment to check how well your gums are healing and the depth of periodontal pockets.
To prevent the need for another deep cleaning, follow the basic steps to prevent gum disease: Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush such as the Colgate® 360® and an antimicrobial toothpaste, Colgate® Total® Advanced Deep Clean, which targets many bacteria not just those sitting directly on your teeth, and floss once daily. Also, be sure to eat a balanced diet, avoid tobacco, and receive regular dental cleanings as recommended by your dentist.
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