Sunshine Dental Services

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene demands regular dental cleanings. However, few people know that dental cleanings can be performed at different levels. For example, a standard dental hygienist cleaning can often remove the plague and bacteria from your mouth. But, in some cases where bacteria attack below the gum line, there’s a need for a deep dental cleaning to restore the gums. 

What is deep cleaning?

Deep cleaning is a procedure that involves a thorough cleaning of the mouth. The cleaning is done below the gum line in all hard-to-reach spots, like the roots and pockets at the tooth base. Tartar builds up at the tooth roots and areas around the exterior. If not cleaned regularly, they may cause serious bacterial infections. This is why dentists use an advanced technique called periodontal scaling and root planing to remove tartar build-up below the gum line. If manual scraping doesn’t remove the tartar build-up altogether, your dentist may use an ultrasonic removal device to get better results.  

How is deep dental cleaning different from regular cleaning?

Regular dental cleaning aims at cleaning the teeth at and above the gum line. It is a non-invasive cleaning method recommended to be performed every 6 months to maintain good oral health. On the other hand, deep dental cleaning is a unique technique to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from below the gum line. It is also known as scaling or root planing and is one of the most effective ways to prevent gum diseases from advancing and leading to tooth loss. So, it is wise to say that regular cleaning is preventative maintenance and deep teeth cleaning is to halt the progression of gum disease. 

scale-and-clean

How do I know if I need a deep dental cleaning?

Deep cleaning isn’t recommended for everyone. However, it is suggested for patients with gum disease to stop the infection from growing and leading to tooth loss. 

Gum disease may or may not show symptoms, which makes it difficult for a person to know that they require deep cleaning. However, there are some warning signs to look for, like bad taste, losing permanent teeth, bleeding gums, swollen, red, or tender gums, and gums that are separating from teeth.  

Your dentist can tell you whether or not you require deep dental cleaning at your regular check-up. They will measure any pockets formed in the gums using the probe. Your dentist may also suggest x-rays to check for bone loss. In the case of deep pockets cannot be treated with standard cleaning. This is when you will require deep cleaning to clear the infection and promote healing.  

Pros and cons of deep cleaning

Like any other dental procedure, deep cleaning has pros and cons. Some of the advantages of this procedure are: 

  • Control gum disease 
  • Fights bad breath 
  • Protects tooth roots  
  • Promotes healthy gums 
  • Prevents tooth loss 

Some of the disadvantages of deep cleaning are: 

  •  Slight pain and sensitivity 
  •  May lead to gum recession 
  •  Slight risk of infection involved just like any other procedure. 

What does a deep cleaning entail?

During scaling, the specialist will manually scrape the plaque from above and below your gum line using a hand-held dental scaler. Then, with an ultrasonic tool featuring a vibrating metal tip and a water spray, they will wash away the tartar too. Root planing involves a rubbing motion, which is ideal for smoothing rough spots on the teeth roots to prevent bacteria from sticking to them. In case of hard-to-reach germs, your dentist may apply an antibiotic gel to the teeth. Certain cases also demand the use of oral antibiotics or a special antibiotic mouth rinse. Deep cleanings require two appointments, making it convenient for your dentist to clean half of your mouth during each visit. 

Is deep cleaning painful?

Teeth scaling and root planing may lead to some discomfort. Hence, your dentist may suggest a topical or local anaesthetic to numb your gums. After the treatment, you may expect some sensitivity, swelling, and minor bleeding.  

Suppose you want to reduce sensitivity; eating soft foods for a few days after the procedure is recommended. You must avoid too hot or cold foods and drinks. You may also take over-the-counter pain medications to reduce inflammation and rinse your mouth with warm salt water. 

Brushing and flossing daily may promote healing and minimise gum inflammation. However, a soft bristle toothbrush is best to avoid applying pressure on your teeth and gums.  

What to do after a deep cleaning?

After a deep cleaning session, your dentist will suggest home care instructions depending on your situation. You may be asked to book an appointment 4 to 6 weeks later to let the dentist check the healing procedure. You may have to visit your dentist more often for regular cleanings for a defined period. This will help you avoid new infections and promote faster healing. During each session, you may continue to get the pocketing measured, which will help improve your gums. Most patients benefit from deep cleaning, and with little aftercare, they see a rapid improvement in their gum condition. As time passes, pockets shrink, and the condition of the gums is restored. 

If you feel your teeth require deep cleaning and want to get this confirmed by a specialist, speak to us. Call us on (03) 9133 8657 or drop an email at [email protected]. to book an appointment.  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does deep cleaning consist of?

Deep cleaning involves two stages, namely, scaling and root planing. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and spaces between the teeth, and root planing involves scraping plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth. A deep cleaning treatment requires a minimum of two office visits or more, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition. Most of the time, dentists divide the procedure into sections and focus on treating one side of your mouth during each appointment.   

Do you need a deep cleaning?

Whether or not you require your dentist can best decide on deep cleaning. They will examine the depth of the pockets of bacteria and infection formed between your teeth and gums and tell you if you must go for deep cleaning. If your mouth shows signs of milk gum disease, your dentist may suggest at-home hygiene tips and ask you to visit the clinic frequently for dental check-ups. However, deep cleaning will be recommended if the patient has pockets that are bigger than 4 or 5 mm. If deep cleaning is recommended, it is best to get it done as soon as possible to avoid gum disease from growing.  

How to care for your teeth after a deep cleaning?

A deep cleaning may lead to temporary sensitivity and discomfort. Hence, once you get deep cleaning done, your dentist will recommend you not to eat until the numbness leaves your mouth. You may also be given a list of foods you may avoid after the cleaning. To subside the pain, over-the-counter medications may be suggested. If the need is, your dentist may recommend you take antibiotics. There are chances of your experiencing minor bleeding, which is something very normal. Rinsing your mouth with saltwater for a few days after the cleaning will help ease pain and discomfort.

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