Dental Deep Cleaning
Different people call this procedure by different names, ranging from “gum treatment” to “scaling and root planning” to “dental deep cleaning.” Or, you may have heard a dentist use more technical terms, such as “non-surgical periodontal therapy” or “conventional periodontal therapy.”
No matter what you call this process, it is a fairly new procedure, with the Journal of Evidenced-Based Practice calling it the “gold standard” for patients with chronic periodontitis (a disease that basically refers to an ongoing inflammation of the gums).
When you get your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist, he or she scales your teeth and gumline, removing tartar and plaque, and polishing and smoothing your teeth, a process that can also remove stains. Sometimes, though, this level of cleaning is not enough -- and that’s where the deep dental cleaning known as scaling and root planing comes into play.
If a dental deep cleaning is recommended because of chronic periodontitis, then this means bacteria is causing your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will move away from your teeth and this creates pockets, which are spaces where plaque gets trapped. By this point, you won’t be able to remove the bacteria with regular brushing -- and, if your condition is not treated, you could experience bone and tooth loss.
Step one involves removing whatever is causing the problem (plaque and so forth). When a patient is ready for the treatment, usually one quarter to one half of his or her mouth is numbed, and that portion of the mouth is scaled and then root planed. This is not a surgical procedure, although local anesthetic can minimize discomfort, if any exists. It can take more than one treatment to complete the process.
After each treatment, you may be prescribed a mouth rinse or pill to help you heal and prevent infection. Your teeth may be sensitive for a few days and your gums may be tender. Typically, this treatment successfully addresses chronic periodontitis, which reduces the chances of your need for surgery to address the situation in the future. To keep the inflammation under control, it’s important to continue to have regular dental checkups, to brush at least two times daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly. Eat a healthy diet and, if you smoke, now is a good time to choose a smoking cessation plan.
Do you know or suspect that you have chronic periodontitis? If so, we recommend a consultation sooner rather than later. Contact us online, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 937-226-1400 today. For your convenience, we’ve made our new patient forms available online.