Many patients who visit Main Beach Dental require a deep cleaning, sometimes known as a scaling and root planing.
Those words may sound serious and threatening, but in fact the deep cleaning treatment is non-surgical and does not require any slicing or drills.
A deep clean is what we recommend when a patient is diagnosed with the first stage of gum disease (gingivitis) because a regular cleaning only involves scraping plaque off the teeth and does not get to the roots of your teeth.
If you suffer from gingivitis we work to remove the infection, promote healthy gum re-attachment, and halt gum infection before it can advance into periodontitis.
This is why a deep cleaning is a bit more than a surface treatment, instead it reaches deep to eliminate bacterial infection where your toothbrush and floss cannot reach, and normal tooth cleaning cannot affect.
What Is A Deep Cleaning?
During a standard dental cleaning (also known as a clean and scale), your dental hygienist or dentist eliminates plaque and tartar from your teeth. Deep cleaning takes this process and adds to it a thorough cleaning and polishing of the root surfaces.
If your dentist thinks your oral care at home hasn’t been enough to deal with your mild case of gum disease (called gingivitis), he or she will recommend a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning is the first line of dental treatment for the more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis. Deep cleanings protect our patients from more drastic treatments for gum disease, which could lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
Root planing scrapes plaque and tartar from tooth roots and smoothes out the rough spots on roots where it is easy for bacteria to collect. Root planing also gives the gums a smooth surface to reattach to.
Root planing may take one to two hours over several visits with the dental hygienist at your dentist’s office. You typically receive a local anaesthetic or numbing gel before the procedure begins.
Root planing uses traditional dental instruments (scalers, ultrasonic cleaner or both) and sometimes lasers to remove plaque and tartar.
The use of a laser normally reduces the bleeding, swelling, and discomfort that can come with traditional deep cleaning methods. In some cases, a deep cleaning also includes the application of antimicrobials in the pockets below the gumline. This helps to kill bacteria.
Benefits Of Deep Cleaning
In most cases, inflamed or red gums and tissues become pink and firm again. Pockets in the gums become smaller and bleeding is reduced.
Other advantages of deep cleaning are:
- Disease prevention
Deep dental cleaning aids in preventing diseases that are the result of bacteria. Eliminating plaque, calculus, and tartar helps fight existing infections and helps prevent new ones.
- Stops deterioration of teeth
With bacteria removed, the risk of tooth loss and gradual degradation of teeth is lessened.
How Long Does It Take?
For patients with deeper pockets in their gums and very rough root surfaces, the deep scaling and root planing procedure can be broken down into quadrants – with one quarter being treated in each appointment.
For example, the upper right side of the mouth might be cleaned on one appointment, and the three other quadrants cleaned during separate appointments. In healthier patients, one half of the mouth (right or left, upper or lower) might be cleaned in one appointment.
This quadrant-based approach allows for only a part of the mouth being numbed at a time and makes for more manageable, shorter appointments.
Your dentist may place antibiotic gels within the periodontal pocket, again to remove any nasty bugs, or may rinse out the pocket with various medications.
After Care Tips
After a deep cleaning, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender and bleed.
To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, your dentist may prescribe a pill or mouth rinse. Your dentist may also insert medication (subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline) directly into the pocket that was cleaned.
Your dentist will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.
How Often Should I Have A Deep Cleaning?
The need for deep cleaning is based on the condition of your mouth. The better your dental health, the less likely you will need a deep cleaning. Your Main Beach Dental dentist will tell you if a deep cleaning is necessary.
Dental Care at Main Beach Dental
At Main Beach Dental your dental health is important to us. We provide gentle, expert care for all conditions and work to prevent disease, decay, and too many dentist appointments in the future. Our commitment to our patients is dental health for a lifetime!
Call (07) 5503 1177 or visit us at 11/26-30 Tedder Ave. in Main Beach.