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The Misconception of a Dental Deep Cleaning

dentist-woman-toothbrush-teeth-model-canstockphoto13239206When many patients think of a dental deep cleaning procedure, they often envision alarming images of a frightening process. In reality, deep cleanings are quite common and not at all alarming. This procedure is often recommended to treat periodontal disease or people who show signs of developing gum disease.

To determine whether or not you need a deep cleaning procedure, your hygienist will use a probe to measure the depth of gum pockets that have formed around your teeth. If these “pockets” are 5mm or more in depth, a deep cleaning may be necessary. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) states that pockets in people with healthy gums, pockets are typically no more than 3mm in depth. If your gum pockets are deeper than that, your dentist may recommend a scaling and root planing procedure.

The Process Involved in Deep Cleaning

Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, is an effective means of removing tartar and plaque from the teeth and also from the gum pockets around teeth. In these procedures, the hygienist uses either ultrasonic or manual scaling tools to complete the process. If root planing is required, the patient will typically have to make two trips to the dental office: the first of which will be for the root planing process itself, and the second will be a follow-up visit to make sure that the condition of your teeth and gums are improving.

Caring for Your Teeth and Gums After Deep Cleaning

After your hygienist removes bacteria from the pockets around your teeth, your gums and teeth should become healthier as you follow a regular dental hygiene routine every day. That routine should include brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Many dental professionals will also recommend that patients use an anti-bacterial mouthwash in order to reduce the amount of bacteria present in the mouth.

Many dentists will also recommend that patients return every 3 or 4 months for regular cleanings as opposed to waiting 6 months. These more frequent cleanings will help patients to reduce the chances of developing gum disease. If these steps aren’t enough, and the condition of the patient’s gums and teeth continues to decline, the dentist may recommend a visit to a periodontist, who can make recommendations for other procedures to be done in the future.

Call us today to schedule a dental exam and teeth cleaning at Cedar Park Premier Dentistry, your neighborhood dentist in Cedar Park TX! (512) 782-0821