We’ve all heard of scaling and root planning, more commonly referred to as a “deep cleaning”. Most of us have probably been recommended this treatment at some point because truth is, it’s hard to keep our teeth in tip-top shape without intervention from our dentist.
A common form of treatment dentists recommend is deep cleaning. Now, you may be wondering what exactly is the difference between a deep and regular cleaning. We’ll explain.
Difference Between Regular and Deep Dental Cleanings
Regular cleanings – a basic removal of bacteria and tartar buildup in the shallow spaces in between our teeth and gums. There is a small level of pain to be expected of this, which is why some people prefer sedation dentistry options. In a regular cleaning you will have your numbers read out loud (how deep your dental pockets are – the higher the worse), mouth examined, cleaned with special instruments, and then polished for a fresh smile.
Deep cleaning – deep cleanings are everything mentioned above except the cleaning takes place further into the shallow space in between teeth and gums known as “pockets”. Pockets are the numbers that hear read out loud such as 4, 3, 4 or 3, 2, 3. Anything beyond a 6 is considered severe and would make you a great candidate for deep cleaning.
Those who are recommended deep cleaning have deep enough pockets that warrant it, as well as more bacteria and tartar buildup that may be difficult to remove. The procedure often involves local anesthetics so that you are pain free throughout. No surgery is required and is considered minimally invasive.
The Importance of Deep Cleaning
It’s important for certain people to undergo this procedure because tartar is a very hard mineralized substance that can only be removed using special instruments by your dentist. Deep cleaning kits or water flossers at home will not work for this and are to be used as supplements to your daily brushing and flossing routine.
Some people are also administered antibiotics under the gum line as a way to control the bacteria in the mouth and prevent it from spreading further.
If the tartar is unable to be addressed – most often because people feel they don’t need deep cleaning, then there is the possibility of the bacteria reaching the roots. When this happen, the tooth is in danger of being decayed and worst-case scenario would have to be extracted.
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