How Do Dentists Deep Clean Your Teeth?

Cartoon showing elves doing a deep cleaning of the patient's teeth to prevent gum disease.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

For most patients, two routine dental cleanings a year are enough to help reduce plaque buildup and keep your teeth healthy. However, if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist or you’re especially prone to plaque buildup, you may need a deep clean. Deep teeth cleanings can go a long way towards fighting tooth decay, gum disease, and even worst-case scenarios like potential tooth loss. When you come in for your regular checkup, the team at Northside Dental can determine what level of teeth cleaning you’ll need.

How Does the Deep Cleaning Procedure Work?

The key difference between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning is that a deep clean focuses on removing plaque and tartar from below the gumline. This can be necessary when gum disease creates a space between your teeth and gums. Tartar and plaque can easily become trapped in this space which only makes infections and periodontitis worse.

Scaling & Root Planing

A deep clean can also be referred to as scaling and root planing. Scaling the teeth is the removal of plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and the spaces between the teeth and gums. Root planing meanwhile, focuses on cleaning the surfaces of your tooth roots. A deep clean can require multiple visits, depending on the severity of the plaque buildup.

What Are the Benefits of Deep Cleaning?

If your dentist has recommended a deep cleaning, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary. When it comes to preventing serious gum disease though, a deep cleaning can be one of your best options. When gum disease is caught early, a deep clean can stop and even reverse its progression. If you continue to stay on top of your oral care routine you can avoid needing more serious dental work further down the line. This is especially important if you experience any gum pain or if your gums bleed when you brush.

What Does the Aftercare for a Deep Cleaning Involve?

Because deep cleanings are more intensive, they can cause some mild discomfort during and after the procedure. You may notice swollen gums and minor bleeding after your treatment. Over-the-counter pain meds can help with any lingering discomfort. An oral rinse may also be prescribed that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

Fighting Gum Disease at Northside Dental in Raleigh, NC

After your deep clean is complete, you can continue to keep up with regular dental visits to make sure that you’re on track to great oral health. Our friendly team at Northside Dental strives to make your dental experience as pleasant as possible. Read our patient reviews and you can see that providing excellent care while developing great patient relationships is important to us! We look forward to seeing you in our office.