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

Aug 18, 2021

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

Did you know there’s a deeper version of your regular dental cleaning? We have the facts about why you might need a deep cleaning, what one entails, and what you can do to prevent the need for one in the future.

So you’re prepared for your regular dental visit, a routine cleaning, and a clean bill of oral health (at least for the next six months or so). But your dentist says something you weren’t expecting: you need a deep dental cleaning

What does this mean, and why do you have to get one? Can’t a regular cleaning simply do the job? 

At Ueno Center Dental Specialists, our board-certified periodontists, Jeremy K. Ueno, DMD, Lynna Bui, DDS, and Debra Westervelt, DDS, understand when a regular cleaning simply isn’t enough. That’s why we’re committed to helping our patients understand the reasons for a deep dental cleaning.

Why you might need a deep dental cleaning 

As we mentioned, most people expect to get a simple cleaning during their biannual dental visit and nothing more. But in some cases, a more intensive treatment is necessary. This is true for those dealing with early stage gum disease. 

More than 47% of American adults 30 years and older suffer from some form of gum disease. Late-stage gum disease — also called periodontitis — can lead to serious side effects and often requires surgery. 

But a deep dental cleaning during the early stage (gingivitis) can help prevent these more severe problems. 

Gingivitis is a mild problem that can become much worse without proper treatment. Its symptoms are bad breath and red, tender, or swollen gums that easily bleed. If you have noticed these symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with us today. 

What a deep dental cleaning is (and isn’t) 

A deep dental cleaning is an effective remedy for early stage gum disease. It does not require surgery and can help reduce the plaque and tartar buildup around the gumline. But what exactly does it entail? 

Deep cleaning can be part of a routine cleaning, but it involves two distinct steps. The first is called scaling. During scaling, we use a sharp dental tool to scrape away the plaque and tartar in the pockets that have formed between your teeth and gums. 

The next step is called root planing. We remove the dentin, which is the hard tissue beneath your tooth enamel, from the roots of your teeth. This makes the roots smooth, so it’s easier for the gums that have formed pockets to reattach to your teeth. 

A deep cleaning works well if you’re dealing with early stage gum disease, but it’s not a cure for the problem, nor can it fix late-stage gum disease. That’s why you must seek this treatment as early as possible when you start to notice the signs of gingivitis. 

After your deep dental cleaning

Naturally, you must continue to be aware of your oral health and especially the health of your gums. Getting a deep dental cleaning every six months while doing nothing helpful in between is not the way to avoid gum disease down the line. 

Instead, learn from this experience. Brush twice daily with gentle pressure and replace your toothbrush every three months. Use a mouthwash that prevents plaque buildup, and floss daily. 

Do your part to prevent gum disease, and next time your routine cleaning will be just that. 

Do you need a deep cleaning now? Schedule an appointment at our Campbell, California, office by calling us today or registering online as a new patient.