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What Is a Deep Teeth Cleaning?

May 31, 2016

dentist in midwest cityA deep teeth cleaning — it may sound like something you’ll need if it’s been awhile since you’ve visited the dentist, but that’s not necessarily true. When it comes to your teeth, a deep cleaning is actually a special method we use in the treatment of gum disease. It’s also called scaling and root planing, and your dentist in Midwest City performs the therapy at Midwest Dental Center. Keep reading to learn more about why, when, and how Dr. Kendrick performs a deep cleaning.

What’s the difference between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning?

A regular teeth cleaning is what you receive during your preventive visit — you know, the one that we recommend you have every six months. During a routine cleaning, your dental hygienist cleans above and around the gumline, carefully removing the plaque and tartar that’s had the chance to build up since your last visit to the dentist.

The deep cleaning is reserved for patients who are dealing with moderate levels of gum disease, or periodontitis. The most significant difference is that the deep cleaning reaches below the gumline, too, to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria buildup.

What happens during a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing)?

The treatment for scaling and root planing may take two to four visits to complete, depending on the level of disease. To ensure your complete comfort throughout the procedure, a local anesthetic is available (and brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste in the days prior to the treatment can help, too).

First, the tooth and the pocket below the gumline are cleaned with a handheld scaler that removes plaque, bacteria and tartar with ultrasonic vibrations. Once the teeth and pockets have been scaled, the root will be planed. This step involves scaling the root to remove the bacteria that’s causing inflammation. Your dentist will complete the treatment for scaling and root planing.

OK, but how to prevent gum disease in the first place?

We’re glad you asked! Gum disease is simple to prevent with a solid dental hygiene routine. What does that include? You probably already know the steps:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes, preferably after each meal or at least twice a day
  • Flossing between each tooth daily
  • Visiting the dentist every six months for a preventive checkup and cleaning
  • Quitting tobacco use
  • Maintaining a healthy diet

Gum disease prevention is important for maintaining good overall health. The condition has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Schedule an Appointment to Fight Gum Disease Today!

When was your last checkup and cleaning? Don’t skip out on regular preventive care. If you’d like to schedule a visit with your Midwest City dentist for a dental cleaning or scaling and root planing, request your appointment with Dr. Steven Kendrick today.

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