Deep Cleaning vs Routine Dental Cleanings
Every time you visit the dentist, your hygienist will most likely have to spend a fair amount of time scraping the plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth and around your gum line. Most people are aware that it is important to stay up to date with your regular dental cleanings for this reason, and many may have had a dentist suggest a deep cleaning from time to time. But what really is the difference between the plaque removal you receive through a periodontal cleaning versus a routine dental cleaning?
Officially known as scaling and root planing, deep cleanings are a more invasive treatment than the usual brushing and tartar removal performed at all of your six month check-up appointments. This treatment is used to reduce both bone loss and deep pockets in your gums caused by severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. The process of scaling actually refers to the name of the metal instrument used to remove tartar from your teeth – a scaler. If you have a lot of build-up, you will feel and hear your hygienist using this tool on the surface of your teeth during every visit with us. However, it is only during a deep cleaning that scaling will be performed on your teeth’s roots, below your gum line.
Scraping beneath your gums can be painful, which is why we will provide a local anesthetic before beginning the service. Once the plaque below your gum line is removed, we will smooth rough spots on the tooth’s root to make it harder for bacteria to affect that area in the future. This allows your gums to settle back onto your teeth with smaller pockets, leading to less irritation and discomfort moving forward.
Scaling and root planing is also a bit more controversial for insurance coverage and diagnosis than your regular dental cleanings. Some dentists will recommend a second opinion before committing to treatment, and there are varying opinions on the depth of pockets or amount of bone loss required for a patient to truly need deep cleaning services.
If you would like to schedule a deep cleaning with us or are curious about your insurance coverage for this procedure, call our front desk at 704-396-6166 today and a member of our team will be happy to help answer any questions you have!