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What is a Dental Deep Cleaning?

Dental deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a crucial dental procedure used to treat and prevent gum disease (periodontitis). This non-surgical intervention goes beyond regular dental cleaning to target the accumulation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria beneath the gumline. Your hygienist at Westgrove Dental Care may recommend scaling and root planing to maintain optimal oral health and prevent more severe dental issues.

I. Understanding Scaling and Root Planing:

  • Scaling: Involves the removal of plaque and tartar (calculus) from the tooth surfaces, both above and below the gumline.

  • Root Planing: Focuses on smoothing the tooth root surfaces to eliminate rough areas where bacteria tend to accumulate.

II. Indications for Scaling and Root Planing:

  • Early to moderate stages of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis).

  • Presence of deep pockets between the gums and teeth, signifying bacterial buildup.

  • Bleeding, swelling, or tenderness of the gums.

  • Persistent bad breath due to oral infection.

III. The Procedure:

  • Local anesthesia may be administered to ensure patient comfort during the process.

  • Your dental hygienist uses specialized instruments like ultrasonic scalers and curettes to clean teeth and remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline.

  • Root planing smoothes the tooth root surfaces to prevent bacterial adherence and promote gum reattachment.

IV. Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing:

  • Halts the progression of gum disease by removing bacterial deposits that contribute to inflammation and infection.

  • Reduces pocket depth, allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the teeth.

  • Helps prevent tooth loss caused by advanced gum disease.

  • Improves overall oral health, leading to fresher breath and healthier gums.

V. Post-Procedure Care:

  • You may experience some sensitivity or discomfort following the procedure, which typically subsides within a few days.

  • Regular follow-ups and maintenance visits are crucial to monitor the healing process and ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.

VI. Difference between Regular Cleaning and Deep Cleaning:

  • Regular dental cleaning (prophylaxis) focuses on removing plaque and tartar above the gumline and is generally performed in routine check-ups.

  • Dental deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) is more extensive, targeting the removal of bacterial deposits beneath the gumline and smoothing the tooth roots.

VII. Importance of Periodontal Maintenance:

  • Patients who undergo scaling and root planing require periodontal maintenance visits more frequently than regular cleanings.

  • Periodontal maintenance helps monitor the healing process, prevent disease recurrence, and maintain healthy gum tissues.

Dental deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, is a vital procedure in managing and preventing gum disease. It offers a way to address early-to-moderate stages of periodontitis, preserve oral health, and prevent the progression of gum-related problems that could lead to tooth loss. Regular dental check-ups and adherence to oral hygiene practices at Westgrove Dental Care, your dentist in Garden Grove, are essential in maintaining the results of scaling and root planing, ensuring a healthy smile and overall well-being.

dental instruments used in the scaling and root planing procedure

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