What is a Deep Dental Cleaning and Why Would I Need One?

Dec 13, 2022
What is a Deep Dental Cleaning and Why Would I Need One?
Getting a deep dental cleaning may be a new experience for you but it’s nothing to fear. Learn more about why you may need one.

If you keep up with preventative dentistry such as regular exams and cleanings, you may feel that’s all you need to do to care for your teeth. But sometimes, you may get a recommendation to have a deep dental cleaning. You may be wondering why we may recommend this procedure for you and what it involves. 

If you are referred for deep dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, it’s usually a treatment for periodontal disease which affects your gums. The providers at Whole Body Dental in Bellevue, Washington, explain more about what this treatment includes and what it can do for you.

When you may need a deep cleaning

Your gums should fit snugly around your teeth. If they don’t, this is often a symptom of gum disease. When you have gum disease, your gums begin to recede creating gum pockets that can become deeper over time.

These pockets can harbor bacteria, which get into your bloodstream. This can contribute to heart disease, so you want to do everything you can to prevent it.

What a deep cleaning includes

When you come in for deep cleaning, there are two parts: scaling and root planing.

During scaling, one of our dental professionals removes all the plaque and tartar from your teeth, all the way down to the root. During root planing, one of our dental professionals smoothes out the roots of your teeth, which allows your roots to reattach to your gums. Often, you may have to get a deep cleaning more than once.

How long a deep cleaning takes

When you come in for a standard dental exam and cleaning, you’re usually in and out of the office in about an hour.

A deep cleaning, on the other hand, can take several hours. On some occasions, we may split it up into multiple sessions.

What to expect after a deep cleaning

After you get a deep cleaning, your gums may be sore and sensitive. The dentist may give you a special rinse to help prevent additional tartar from forming. They may also give you more suggestions about how to care for your teeth.

What to do if you’re nervous

Dental fear is very common. If you’re feeling nervous about deep cleaning, we can do things to help you manage the fear.

We can use IV sedation to help keep you relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. You can also get medications to take prior to the procedure. 

IV sedation is safe. During IV sedation, you are awake during the procedure so that you can be aware of what’s happening, but you won’t likely remember it. 

If the dentist recommends a deep cleaning for you, it means that you really need it because you have gum disease. This is a case where prevention is important so that you don’t suffer from worse consequences later. If you’re referred for deep cleaning, contact the providers at Whole Body Dental or request an appointment online.