In some cases, a regular dental cleaning simply cannot remove enough of the tartar build-up that has settled on the surface of your teeth and in the pockets of your mouth, particularly if it has been quite a while since your last visit. This build-up provides an ample breeding ground and food supply for harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, an excessive amount of plaque on your gums can lead to bone loss, which may cause your teeth to become loose or even fall out. In cases where a regular cleaning simply isn’t enough, deep cleanings are typically recommended by your dentist. A deep cleaning can allow you to avoid gum disease and gingivitis, as well as tooth decay and loss. A deep cleaning is often the most effective defense against gum disease, which can wreak havoc on the bone structure that supports your teeth and inflammation of the gums themselves, both of which can be quite painful.
What is the difference between Regular cleanings vs. Deep cleanings?
A regular cleaning is typically recommended for patients who do not have exposed tooth roots or in cases where the structure of the tooth has not been compromised. Regular cleanings generally take only one appointment and last around 30-60 minutes. They are usually concerned with preventive dental care and healthy tooth maintenance. Though cleaning does take place during a deep cleaning, of course, the process is much more in-depth and will also involve the planing of the root, in order to make it smooth. A deep cleaning may also involve the removal of any remnants of teeth which be infected. While your dentist will still remove the tartar build up from your teeth and gum line, they will also perform other procedures to ensure your dental health remains good. Deep cleanings are considered a therapeutic procedure and are designed as a treatment to help patients avoid periodontal disease, which can lead to major damage to the gums, as well as bone and tooth loss.
What can I expect during deep cleanings?
A deep cleaning will require a series of appointments with your dentist, with each appointment usually only dealing with one particular quadrant of your mouth. For example, the first appointment might cover the top right quadrant, while the next appointment would involve the deep cleaning of the lower left quadrant of your mouth. This will all depend on how much dental work you actually need, and is intended to keep you as comfortable as possible and allow you to avoid any intense soreness or discomfort following your appointment. Your dentist will inform you of your specific treatment plan in advance.
Typically, the first thing your dentist will do during a deep cleaning appointment is examine your mouth for any existing dental issues. After this, they will prepare your mouth for the deep cleaning. Deep cleaning your teeth will commonly include scaling to remove the build-up of tartar and bacteria on your teeth and gums and planing to smooth exposed tooth roots. Usually, you will not be able to tell the difference in the two procedures, as they can be done at the same time as your dentist performs the deep cleaning. There are a number of tools your dentist may use during a deep cleaning appointment, including electric, sonic, or ultrasonic scalers, as well as hand scalers,
In those cases where a good deal of scaling or root planing is involved, and the dentist feels that the patient may become sore or uncomfortable, they will use a local anesthetic to numb your mouth, ensuring you stay comfortable throughout the process.
What should I do after a deep cleaning?
After you deep cleaning you should avoid brushing and flossing for as long as your dentist recommends, in order to allow your gums and teeth to recover from the process. Often you may have some bruised or tender areas along your gums, and you may need to avoid these activities for a few days to ensure they have time to heal. Once the recommended time period has passed, however, you should resume your regular dental hygiene routine. Your dentist may recommend that you rinse with warm salt water or take over-the-counter pain medications to alleviate any soreness. If you experience anything more than minor discomfort after your deep cleaning, you should ask your doctor for suggestions on how to best alleviate any pain that you may have. You might also notice that your gums bleed and that your teeth are more sensitive to hot or cold foods or foods that are high in sugar. Your dentist can recommend a special toothpaste or rinse that may help with the temperature sensitivity.
Having a deep cleaning can help prevent periodontal disease and keep you from needing more intense and extensive dental treatments (such as periodontal surgery) in the future. If it has been quite some time since your last dental cleaning and you feel that you are in need of a deep cleaning to eliminate the plaque and tartar build-up and bacteria that cannot be eliminated by a regular cleaning alone, please call (805) 983-0245 or email us today to schedule your consultation with Kane & Kerper Dentistry. Their caring staff strives to make each deep cleaning as comfortable as possible and will provide treatment without any judgment. Let them help to ensure that your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible, and get you on your way to a happy, bright, and pain-free smile.