Deep Cleaning (Scaling & Root Planing)
Why Do You Need a Deep Cleaning?
If plaque and tartar are left on the teeth, it provides the right conditions for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria then irritates your gums, which means that they can bleed more easily. This is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. Normally, most people visit the dentist in order to have a regular hygiene checkup and teeth cleaning which works to control the build up of this bacteria.
However, if gingivitis is not treated and nothing is done about it, the inflammation will work it’s way down towards the foundation of the teeth causing a “pocket”. Inside this newly-formed pocket, bacteria can thrive and can cause even more damage. This can end up becoming quite a severe situation for the patient, ultimately leading towards periodontal disease itself.
If you have active periodontal disease, our dental team performs what is called a “Deep Cleaning”, a process that consists of Scaling and Root Planing.
The Deep Cleaning Process
In the dental world, deep cleaning is also known as Scaling and Root planning. Scaling is the process of removing dental tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure.
If you have gum disease, the gum pockets around the teeth will have deepened, thus allowing tartar deposits to form under the gum line. Your Burgess Dental Hygienist will scale away any tartar and perform any necessary root planing at the same time.
Generally, a deep cleaning will require more than one visit depending on the amount of scaling and planing required. An additional follow-up visit may be required to confirm that your gums and teeth are getting healthier and that the pocket depth has been reduced.
Care After a Scaling and Root Planing Appointment
After your deep cleaning appointment, the bacteria in the pockets will have been removed and you will have been instructed on how to perform the correct oral hygiene to support your oral health. Additional symptoms that may be experienced after a deep cleaning:
- Discomfort can vary after root planing, but a patient can expect some degree of soreness afterwards since the deep cleaning procedure is usually performed at a deeper region (under the gums).
- The teeth themselves can become a bit more sensitive to temperature and occasionally there might be some bleeding for a short while afterwards.
- Over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, work very well to alleviate discomfort. But stronger painkillers can be given should you require them.
- Brushing and flossing can be delayed or done more gently for a few days following the deep cleaning procedure in order to avoid aggravating any bruised or tender gum areas.
- Your dentist or hygienist may recommend salt water or chlorhexidine rinses as a short-term alternative – or in addition to – your regular at home cleanings.
At Burgess Dental Group, our friendly hygienists and periodontists will be happy to explain your procedure to you …. and answer any questions you may have!