Regular cleaning of the teeth is necessary for purposes of hygiene and dental health. It does not only keep the teeth aesthetically appealing but also guarantees healthy and strong teeth for overall well-being. When the teeth are not cleaned, they become weaker and more susceptible to infections and, in some cases, tooth loss. It is important to treat cavities and keep periodontal disease at bay to avoid tooth loss. While regular cleaning focuses more on the gum line to scale and polish the teeth’ outer surface, deep cleaning teeth involves removing bacteria colonies and tartar from the roots of the teeth.
What is Deep Cleaning Teeth?
Deep cleaning is a dental procedure that involves cleaning the teeth in between the gums to the roots below the gum line. It is always recommended for patients with a build-up of tartar in the teeth’ exterior and roots, resulting in bacterial infections of the gums. Deep scaling is done beneath the gum line to remove tartar (through manual scraping) from the teeth using a dental scaler. It involves the use of an ultrasonic device to remove plaque from the teeth surface.
Root planing is the repeated rubbing motion applied on the roots to remove rough spots that promote gum infections by trapping and harboring bacteria. The process is critical in maintaining clean and healthy gums and encouraging the reattachment of gums to the teeth. If you have red and swollen gums, it may indicate that you have an infection and need a deep dental cleaning.
Deep Cleaning vs. Regular Dental Cleaning
The main difference between a regular dentist teeth cleaning and deep dental cleaning is that the former is not as extensive as the latter. Regular cleaning is done to maintain the cleanliness of the teeth to prevent cavities and keep off gum diseases. The tartar removed has not quite invaded the gums and is removed using a scaler. However, when tartar build-up becomes too much, it can only be removed through deep dentist teeth cleaning.
A deep cleaning teeth goes beyond the tooth’s surface to remove calculus and debris that accumulates in the roots of the teeth. The sessions are quite demanding and sometimes require more than a single visit, unlike regular cleaning (which takes just a couple of hours.) The cleaning needed is extensive, and the dentist has to monitor the teeth and gums before ruling it as a success. Some people have sensitive teeth or have periodontal disease must be with care, spelling multiple sessions.
Root planning is only done during deep dental cleaning and not when doing regular cleaning. It is, hence, a significant differentiator between the two types. The technician uses a special tool to clean deep into the pockets to ensure that tartar and plaque are completely removed to discourage bacteria.
Is Deep Cleaning Teeth Necessary?
As has been emphasized, deep teeth cleaning is necessary to prevent bacteria’s growth in the roots and pockets of the teeth. When bacteria growth is unchecked, it can cause permanent damage and lead to teeth loss. Here are the reasons and instances when deep dental cleaning is necessary.
• When you experience symptoms associated with gum disease and infections, such as redness and swelling of the gum line, bleeding during brushing, unending lousy breath, loosening of the teeth from the gums, and pus in the gum area.
• When you visit a hygienist, and he recommends deep teeth cleaning.
• When you are unable to remove stubborn tartar from the surface of your teeth, the chances are that they have hardened and need to be deep-scaled.
• If you have already had gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
• As part of the yearly routine dental health procedures.
• If you have not had regular cleaning sessions with your hygienist in a long time (more than six months)
• When the gum pockets enlarge beyond 5 millimeters depth, you may be at risk of periodontal disease, hence the need or deep dental cleaning.
Deep Cleaning Teeth Procedure
Preliminary Discussion: The dentist will engage the patient in a discussion to find out and record any changes to one’s dental history and if they are on any medication. Depending on the specialists’ evaluation, he may recommend other procedures such as an X-ray for a more comprehensive examination.
Periodontal Charting: At this point, the hygienist or dentist will take measurements of the gum sockets’ depth. The specialist will use a special tool to determine the depth, which should be between 10-3 mm under normal circumstances. The process is also known as periodontal probing and determines if one has periodontitis or gingivitis.
Scaling: If the dentist determines that the gum pockets are within the normal range of depth, he/she will use an ultrasonic device to scrape plaque and tartar from the teeth surface manually.
Polishing: The dentist will use a gritty toothpaste (of the flavor of the patients choice) to polish the teeth, followed by the use of an air polisher to smoothen the surface more
Flossing: One can opt to clean all contact areas using string floss, dental picks, and tiny brushes that can penetrate between the teeth.
Fluoride treatment: The teeth will then be rinsed using a solution of liquid fluoride and fluoride varnish to treat the teeth and remineralize the enamel.
Does a Dental Deep Cleaning Hurt?
While some people, especially those with deep sockets, may experience pain, most of the time, the discomfort is bearable. Scaling and root planning may cause some discomfort around the gum and in the teeth. To prevent the pain and sting of the needle, the dentists use a local anesthetic (such as a topical gel anesthetic) to numb your gum area as he conducts the procedure.
Teeth After Deep Cleaning: What to Expect
One thing to expect after deep dental cleaning is a bit of soreness in the gums and sensitivity to hot fluids and foods. It is advisable to avoid foods that will strain the gums, such as crunchy, hard, and sticky edibles. Acidic foods can also cause discomfort and worsen the soreness and sensitivity. It may also help to use desensitizing toothpaste. There may also be slight bleeding during brushing, but this lasts for just a short period.
To prevent the same, it is wise not to brush around the affected area for a few days and delay flossing for about a week. As recommended by the doctors, patients may consider over-the-counter pain medication or mouth rinse to hasten the healing process. It is advisable to use salt and water to rinse your mouth 4-6 times a day to keep the area clean and prevent infections. This should be done 24 hours after the conclusion of the procedure.