Why do I need a deep cleaning, can’t I just have a regular cleaning?
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is much more than flossing and brushing. People often mistake the meanings of regular and deep cleanings and assume they are the same procedure. It is important to be proactive in your dental health and visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups and professional cleaning.
What is a deep cleaning?
Deep cleaning, a common term used to describe a treatment called Periodontal Root Planing and Scaling, or Periodontal Treatment, is a specific cleaning done by a dental hygienist to treat gum and periodontal disease. It may occur when a patient has not had regular cleaning appointments every six months. A regular cleaning only removes plaque bacteria from above the gumline. Gum disease occurs when the bacteria colonize below the gumline. A hygienist will use an instrument called a probe to measure and assess the area around your teeth to see if you have pocketing. This refers to the area between your teeth and gums where bacteria forms. The depth (measurement) between teeth and gums are called pockets when it’s over 3 mm. The ACA, (American Academy of Periodontology) recommends adults have a periodontal evaluation yearly to determine the health of the gums and teeth and to determine if additional treatment is needed. The evaluation and measurement of pocket depths is just one part of a comprehensive dental evaluation.
If deep cleaning is needed, the hygienist will remove the built up plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces above and, most importantly, below the gumline. It requires a minimum of two visits and a follow-up visit may be necessary to check on the health and status of gums and teeth.
The goal is to have healthier teeth and gums after deep cleaning treatment with resulting decrease in the depths of the pocket measurements and for patients to continue at home with good oral hygiene routines everyday. Long-term success in addressing gum disease depends not only on your dental team’s ability to remove the infection-causing bacteria, but also on your diligence in homecare. Visiting your dentist for maintenance care is essential after periodontal treatment, as periodontal disease can only be treated and controlled, not cured. We often find that care visits are needed more frequently than every six months. Through regular checkups periodontal concerns can be detected, monitored and treated in the early stages and not deteriorate and require more extensive treatment.
Saint Anthony Village Dental Care firmly believes in being proactive in treating all our patients; and we will help you achieve healthy teeth, gums and mouth. Give us a call, 612-781-9270 to set up your appointment.