Most people are pretty familiar with semi-annual professional cleanings of their teeth. It’s a routine procedure covered by most dental insurance that helps us keep our teeth clean and healthy. Some neglect their teeth cleanings (prophylaxis), though, or have larger issues and could benefit from a deep cleaning of their teeth.
Professional Cleaning vs. Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning is also known as Scaling and Root Planing, and is a therapeutic procedure that’s important to heading off periodontal disease. Along with cleaning the teeth themselves, Dr. Klooster uses probes and other tools for a cleaning below the gum line. Depending on the extent of the deep cleaning, Dr. Klooster may opt to numb the area to be cleaned, using a local anesthetic. New products are available to numb only the gum area and not the teeth themselves.
Periodontal disease occurs when calculus, plaque and stain on the crown and root surfaces of teeth starts to cause inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, that can lead to serious damage to the soft tissue and bones that teeth rely on for support and integrity. If left too long, the end result is tooth loss. It’s often referred to as “receding gums” – gum tissue pulls away and detaches from teeth and periodontal pockets form.
Scaling and root planning, then, gives the gums a healthy environment in which they can re-adapt and attach to normal tooth surfaces.
Why Should I get a Deep Cleaning?
- Prevention of Disease: Deep dental cleaning helps discourage disease that results from a proliferation of bacteria. Removing all tartar, calculus and plaque means that infections can no longer easily form.
- Prevents Deterioration: Disease-causing bacteria are removed, and deterioration of teeth and eventual tooth loss are prevented.
- Better Oral Health: Deep cleanings should be part of a comprehensive oral health package, along with flossing, drinking enough water, proper brushing habits and avoiding smoking and sugary snacks.