You may have heard of people going into the dentist to get a deep cleaning, which is technically known as scaling and root planing. You may be wondering what this type of deep cleaning is and if it is necessary for you. Here is what you need to know about it.
X-Rays and Periodontal Charting
Part of the deep cleaning treatment is to get routine x-rays and periodontal charting performed. A dentist will take bitewing x-rays annually, which will check for cavities, tartar found underneath the gums, and the health of the bone. These x-rays are typically taken once a year but might be taken twice a year if you have problems with tartar and cavities or are more prone to dental problems.
The dentist should also take probing measurements of your gums, which helps the dentist tell if the gums are receding over time. This is done by sliding a tool between your gums and your tooth. The process tells the dentist how deep those pockets are. The measurements of each tooth will be recorded and compared to measurements taken at each visit. Your dentist will be able to tell how the health of the gums is changing without having to remember what they looked like at your last visit. If you have very deep pockets under your gums, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning to make sure that there is no tartar underneath your gums.
Dentists typically break deep cleaning into two parts, by cleaning the teeth and gums. If you're worried about the cleaning, ask your dentist if you will feel any pain. If you will, they may numb each side of your mouth so that you do not feel any pain. It is important that all of the tartar is removed from underneath your gums because it will eventually lead to bone loss over time. There is no way to get this tartar off your teeth with regular brushing, which is why regular dental appointments are important.
In some cases, after you have both sides of your mouth treated with a deep cleaning, you'll then return to the dentist a few weeks later. This usually occurs when the pockets of your gums are very deep.
Regular dental cleaning and checks are important to ensure that your teeth are smooth and will make it difficult for plaque to stick to the surface. To learn more, visit a general dentist near you.