What Is a Deep Dental Cleaning and Who Needs It?

You visit your dentist for your 6-month cleaning and everything seems to be going great until they tell you that you need a deep dental cleaning. At this point, you are probably wondering “What exactly is a deep dental cleaning and why do I need one?”

If your dentist is suggesting that you get a deep dental cleaning, it is probably for a good reason. Deep dental cleanings can help prevent gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Preventing gum disease is a critical part of your oral health. Gum disease can cause loose teeth, teeth loss, and even bone loss.

If your dentist has recommended that you get a deep dental cleaning, keep reading to learn more about what a deep dental cleaning is, the process of completing the cleaning, who needs a deep dental cleaning, and the pros/cons.

What Is a Deep Dental Cleaning?

Your dentist suggested a deep dental cleaning but what exactly is a deep dental cleaning? A deep dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a process to clean between your teeth and gums to remove any tartar buildup.

A normal tooth cleaning consists of cleaning the tooth above the gum line while a deep dental cleaning goes all the way down to the root.

A dentist is typically able to tell if you need a deep dental cleaning by looking at your x-rays, looking at the gap between your gum and tooth, or if your gums bleed easily.

What Is the Process of a Deep Cleaning?

Normal deep cleaning will happen in two visits to the dentist. The first visit will be for scaling and the second visit will be for root planing. Your dentist may ask you to schedule additional appointments if they believe they will be needed.

During the first visit, your dentist will remove the plaque between your teeth and your gums. You can expect your dentist to use a local anesthetic to minimize pain.

Here are some common side effects that you may notice after your first deep cleaning appointment. These side effects should go away or improve within 5-7 days of the appointment.

  • Sore gums
  • Gums bleeding when brushing teeth
  • Increased teeth sensitivity

During your second deep cleaning appointment, your dentist will complete the planning process of the deep cleaning. The purpose of root planing is to smooth out your roots and reattach your gums to your teeth.

Closing out the gap between your gums and your teeth will help prevent tartar from building up in the future.

How Long Does a Deep Cleaning Take?

If you are preparing to get a deep dental cleaning, you are probably wondering how long it will take. It will take approximately one hour for each of your appointments.

While the average amount of time is an hour, the procedure can take longer depending on the condition of your oral health and how much tartar buildup lies between your teeth and gums.

If you want to know exactly how long you should expect your appointments to last, ask your dentist before your appointment.

Deep Dental Cleaning Aftercare

Once you have completed the procedure, your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your teeth. It is important that you follow these instructions to prevent infection.

The dentist may advise you to be careful while brushing your teeth and eating food for a specified amount of time. They also may prescribe you a prescription for mouth wash to help prevent infection and ask you to come in for a checkup.

Who Needs a Deep Dental Cleaning?

Deep dental cleanings are used to prevent gum disease. If your dentist believes that you have or are at risk of gum disease, they more than likely will recommend getting a deep cleaning.
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Here are a few signs your dentist will look for when deciding if you need a deep cleaning.

  • The gap between your tooth and gum
  • X-rays
  • Gum discoloration
  • Gum bleeding

If your dentist suggests that you get a deep dental cleaning, it is important to follow their guidance and set up an appointment to complete the procedure.

Pros/Cons of Deep Dental Cleanings

Before you get your first deep dental cleaning, you will first need to consider the pros and the cons of the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns about getting a deep dental cleaning, be sure to ask your dentist before you make the appointment.

Benefits of Deep Dental Cleanings

While preventing gum disease is the main goal of a deep dental cleaning, there are other benefits as well. Deep dental cleanings can improve your overall oral health. Here are some of the benefits of getting this procedure.

  • Prevent gum disease
  • Eliminate bad breath
  • Eliminate tartar buildup between the teeth
  • Treat a gum infection caused by tartar buildup

Cons of Deep Dental Cleanings

In addition to there being benefits of getting a deep dental cleaning, there are also cons. Here are some of the biggest disadvantages to receiving this procedure.

  • Pain during and/or after the procedure
  • Increased teeth sensitivity for a short amount of time
  • Risk of infection
  • Can cause your gums to recede

Should You Get a Deep Dental Cleaning?

If your dentist recommended that you get a deep dental cleaning, you should take their advice and set up your appointment immediately. Deep dental cleanings help prevent gum disease and improve your overall oral health.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out the health section for more related information!
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