If you are conscious about your oral health, you know how important it is to have routine teeth cleanings done to help prevent both cavities. But what you might not know is that there are two types of teeth cleaning. One is the routine cleaning you might have every six months. Another kind is a much deeper dental cleaning that applies to those with moderate to advanced gum disease.
You might not have heard of deep dental cleaning before. But you might have heard others call it – root planing and scaling. But why is a deep cleaning treatment performed?
Many people dread the teeth cleaning procedure. It is easy to understand their worry between the strange noises, prodding, and the occasional jaw discomfort. But for many, teeth cleaning is often a painless and straightforward procedure.
If you are aware of what is going on during the process, it might help ease your stress. Moreover, it will allow you to sit back in the dental chair and enjoy minty-fresh results better.
Here in this article, we discuss the different types of teeth cleaning and identify which one might be suitable for you.
What is Teeth Cleaning or Scaling?
Cleaning or scaling your teeth is a type of restorative dental procedure that requires removing plaque and tartar stuck on your teeth to avoid tooth cavity, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. The procedure becomes all the more necessary after your gums, bones, and surrounding tissues are damaged due to infection.
Brushing and interdental brushing are common ways you might clean your teeth. But your dentist might remove tougher deposits or tartar that are not removed by daily cleaning. If you have dentures, you can supplement their cleaning with a denture cleaner.
Thorough professional teeth cleaning can only remove tartar and plaque build-up on your teeth’ surface. As a result, it can reduce gum inflammation and improve gum health.
Plaque formed on your teeth is a toxic material consisting of bacteria – caused by food particles and saliva. You can remove plaque, which accumulates by daily brushing your teeth.
It is important to note that brushing does not remove all the plaque build-up between your teeth. At times, your dentist might recommend that you have a dental inlay. The dental inlay procedure is performed in conjunction with root planing. The technique is known as “deep washing” in simple terms.
If you are suffering from a periodontal disorder, it is often treated with tooth grinding and root preparation. Tartar forms on your teeth as plaque calcifies or hardens. The significant cause of gum disease is plaque or tartar accumulation.
Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis, is a severe inflammatory disease affecting your gums, bones, and surrounding tissues in the oral cavity.
Gingivitis is an example of plaque accumulation for a prolonged period. If left unchecked, gingivitis could result in periodontitis. This is a severe oral infection that might cause the bone that protects your teeth to deteriorate.
Dental Cleanings: How Are They Done?
One primary goal of these dental cleanings is to eliminate plaque and tartar deposits that might cause gum disease. If not done periodically, it might lead to other oral health problems. But beyond this, the two procedures are a lot different.
1 Routine Dental Cleanings
This is the standard type of cleaning you get when you visit your dentist for your regular six-month check-up. Your dentist might use special tools to remove sticky plaque and hard tartar deposited on teeth above your gums during your routine dental cleaning.
These dental cleanings are very important. Because they prevent gum disease and even treat very mild forms of the condition referred to as gingivitis.
During your routine cleanings, your dentist will also suggest cleaning those areas of your mouth where your brushing and flossing using dental floss, might need help. These are primarily the hard-to-reach places where you will not reach.
The end goal is to get rid of as much tartar and plaque as possible. In addition to preventing tooth cavities and gum disease, having your teeth cleaned also helps keep bad breath at bay.
Sometimes, your dentist will combine routine cleanings with your regular check-up while they examine your teeth. As part of the check-up, your dentist might also perform an oral cancer screening and take X-rays if required.
2 Deep Dental Cleanings
The deep dental cleaning technique uses special techniques to get rid of plaque, tartar, and bacteria below your gum line. As the name implies, the process provides your teeth with a deep cleaning down to your tooth roots.
The harmful bacteria that cause tooth infection hide in the tartar deposits on your teeth surface. As these bacteria multiply and grow – they continuously release toxins that might irritate your gums.
As the infection spreads, over time, your gums will slowly start to pull away from the surface of your teeth. Thus, creating a path that will allow these bacteria to travel down to your tooth roots.
The teeth infections caused in the lower part of your tooth can weaken your roots. Eventually causing your teeth to fall out if the condition persists for long. Studies have proved that diseased gums are the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
If you get deep dental cleaning done regularly, it will help remove bacteria below your gum line and around the tooth roots. Regular cleaning will also prevent gum disease from advancing. Moreover, during your visit, your dentist will smooth your teeth surfaces to make it difficult for bacteria to stick to them in the long run.
Occasionally, your dentist might also apply an antibiotic gel during cleaning to kill hard-to-reach germs. Else your dentist may also prescribe oral antibiotics or an antibiotic mouth rinse which would further aid in cleaning.
Because the infection often goes below your gum line, your dentist might use local anesthetics to numb the area during a deep cleaning process. If your gums are very sensitive or you are too anxious, your dentist might use sedation to keep you calm and comfortable.
When is Teeth Cleaning Necessary?
Each one of you may experience some plaque build-up at some point in time. Saliva, bacteria, and proteins in the mouth form a thin crust that covers your teeth.
Small particles, sugars, and acids from your food often adhere to this film when you chew your food. This layer is called plaque on your teeth. The germs and bacteria that thrive in this plaque cause diseased gums and tooth cavities.
Regular brushing, flossing, and cleanings simultaneously will help reduce and remove plaque build-up and prevent severe problems. The tissues will fit more tightly around your teeth and to avoid plaque from entering if you have healthy gums.
If you have healthy gums, they can support your tooth 1 to 3 millimeters below the gum line. When you develop gum disease, you will start to develop deeper pockets. These pockets are then filled with plaque bacteria, making your problems worse, and leading to symptoms like bad breath.
Types of Teeth Cleaning Procedures
There are several types of teeth cleaning procedures. But your dentist is likely to use the technique depending on your specific oral care needs. The four significant teeth cleaning methods are as follows:
1 Cleaning Prophylaxis
The procedure is best for individuals with a healthy mouth. A prophylactic cleaning procedure designed to perform routine maintenance.
The procedure removes any expected amount of plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth’ surface, gums, and middle teeth. Prophylactic teeth brushing can also be helpful to extract excess plaque and other small marks that remain on your teeth surface, even if you might have a relatively clear mouth.
2 Scaling and Root Planing
Root scaling and planing procedures are slightly more invasive. However, it is mostly considered a non-surgical cleaning procedure. It involves deep cleaning of your gum line, gums, and other supporting tooth structures.
Your dentist will often recommend these scaling and root planing techniques if you suffer from gum diseases. Sometimes you might need several visits to the clinic to complete the treatment.
Your dentist will often complete the procedure into two appointments. During the first appointment, they will clean the upper and lower quadrants of one side of your mouth. During the second appointment they will clean the other two quadrants.
Scaling can either be done manually or with an ultrasonic instrument. The technique will help loosen plaque and remove hardened tartar. Root planing is an attempt to smooth the rough surfaces of your teeth. Your dentist will remove any subgingival bacteria.
3 Gross Debridement
In the event that you have been delaying your visit for several years, a good amount of plaque might likely have accumulated on your teeth surface.
Subsequently, a coarse debridement which is a deep cleaning technique, will remove tartar from your teeth. The condition is especially used for individuals who have not visited the dentist for a while.
The first thing your dentist will do is perform an oral examination. After the examination, your dentist will decide if routine prophylactic cleaning is sufficient for you. Or whether a significant debridement is necessary before the prophylactic cleaning.
4 Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance is known as routine maintenance specifically for individuals with severe oral problems. Mainly, periodontal maintenance can be provided to people with gingivitis or periodontitis.
In case of periodontal cleaning, you need to make regular trips to your dentist to clean your whole mouth. Your dentist will continue the cleaning process for a specific period or until all your oral health problems are adequately treated. The maintenance is carried out until the symptoms of your diseased gum are managed and entirely under control.
As you have seen, both routine dental cleanings and deep cleanings play essential roles in preventing your tooth infection and tooth loss primarily caused by gum disease. Do not put off any longer if it has been a while since your last dental cleaning. Call your dentist today or book an appointment.