Did your dentist recommend you get a dental deep cleaning, and you are worried because you don’t know what to expect? Rest assured, it is not as complex as you think.
Getting a healthy smile doesn’t not only mean keeping your teeth white. It’s more than that. You need to ensure that your teeth are clean and free from decay. Did you know that 26% of people in the United States live with untreated dental decay? It is not something that happens overnight but takes years to form, leading to teeth or gum damage.
Unfortunately, people change their dentist out of fear when they are suggested to get a deep cleaning dental procedure. Therefore, in this guide, we have discussed in detail what is dental deep cleaning and answered related queries like what to expect from the procedure.
Dental Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning is a dental procedure done to clean teeth from below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar hiding in hard-to-reach areas. It cleans the roots and the nearby pockets to remove the buildups and bacteria. Deep cleaning is extremely important because when tartar is accumulated around the teeth and their roots, it can turn into a bacterial infection.
Dentists offer two types of procedures for deep cleaning; periodontal scaling and root planning. Initially, manual scaling is done to remove tartar and plaque then an ultrasonic removal device is used for detailed cleaning.
You need to schedule an appointment with your dentist in which a general examination will take place. Then depending on your dental condition, your dentist may recommend whether to get a simple or deep cleaning. Sometimes, the deep cleaning procedure is broken down into multiple sessions if the oral condition worsens.
Why Deep Cleaning is important?
The American Dental Association recommends getting deep cleaning done at least twice a year. That said, it is typically done as needed. Also, your dentist will let you know if you require one during your bi-annual dental checkups.
Generally, dentists check your gum condition to determine if you require a deep cleaning or not. If your gums appear like they are pulling away from the teeth forming pockets more than 5 millimeters deep, they may suggest you get immediate deep cleaning. While some other symptoms include:
- Swollen gums
- Bruising and puss around the gums
- Bad breath
Some types of gum diseases may require additional treatment if the situation has gotten worse. Therefore, it is recommended to book an appointment with your dental hygienist every six months.
Dental Deep Cleaning What to expect from the Procedure?
During your initial appointment, your dentist will first examine your medical history and will, take an x-ray of your teeth, and examine the depth of the pockets to determine which areas they need to focus on. Also, your dentist will decide whether the procedure needs to be done at the same or on the next visit.
On the day of the procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic before starting to control discomfort. Then with the help of a special tool, they will reach the pockets near the roots to remove tartar and plaque collected in that area.
Once the tartar is removed, they will reshape the roots using a tool forming a more adhesive surface. They reattach the gums with the teeth to fill the space and prevent plague formation and bacterial infection.
After the final sessions, you will be called for a follow-up check-up to examine your teeth, gums and bone condition and to check if the condition is under control. If your issue was not resolved, you might require to receive additional advanced treatments.
How Long is the Deep Cleaning Dental Procedure?
A deep cleaning procedure takes longer than a normal cleaning or scaling. The entire procedure takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. The reason why deep cleaning takes longer is that it has an additional step of cleaning gum pockets and tartar under the gum line, which normal dental cleaning doesn’t involve.
Generally, dentists perform deep cleaning in two sessions, each taking 45 to 50 minutes in total. The first session concerns scaling the surfaces and removing plaque from the gum line. The second appointment involves a deep cleaning procedure from the roots of the teeth using special instruments.
Does the Cleaning Procedure hurt?
Yes, it does hurt, but the pain is bearable. In fact, dentists typically administer local anesthesia to suppress that minor discomfort and make your experience completely painless. It will numb the area around your roots and gums so that you won’t feel a thing.
What is the Cost of the Procedure?
There is no exact number because it varies depending on the severity of the case. Critical gum conditions will need more work and hence will be more expensive.
Normal dental cleaning costs around $100 to $150 (the prices may vary depending on your location). While scaling and root planning cost $150 to $250 per quadrant. That overall sums up to $600 to $1000 for deep cleaning or even more if you go for upgraded anesthesia.
Don’t get scared of the prices. Mostly dental cleaning is covered 80% by dental insurance companies. Every year you can have 3 to 4 normal cleanings called ‘period maintenance.’
Benefits of Deep Cleaning
As mentioned earlier, root planning and scaling are extremely important for your dental health as they not just cleanse your teeth but prevent acute bacterial infections. Following are some other benefits of deep dental cleaning:
- Prevent gingivitis or early periodontitis: One of the greatest benefits of deep cleaning is that it prevents gingivitis (common gum disease). Even if it’s there, it can be dealt with in its early stages.
- Prevent tooth decay: Of course, clean teeth prevent tooth decay. It also treats tooth decay with its more invasive revitalizing procedures.
- Better Breath: Another benefit of deep cleaning is eliminating bad breath. Since deep cleaning treats gingivitis and other bacterial infection causing bad breath, you will have fresher breath after the procedure.
- A beautiful and healthier smile: Deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and restores your gum structure to give you a beautiful and healthier smile.
Dental Deep Cleaning After-care Tips
Deep dental cleaning is a minimally invasive solution for treating gum disease. People who suffer from inflamed gums, excessive redness, swelling, bleeding gums, etc, can undergo this procedure. However, as much as it is minimally surgical, it needs the same care post-procedure as other dental surgeries. Below we have revealed some after-care tips that you must do after getting a deep cleaning.
Don’t munch while your Mouth is Numb:
After deep cleaning, most people get a sudden urge to munch regardless of the fact that they can’t do so. However, this must be avoided until the numbness fades away. Why is it forbidden? Eating while your mouth is numb poses the risk of biting your gums or tongue, delaying healing.
Avoid Acidic and Crunchy Foods:
After your procedure, you must be extremely vigilant about what you eat daily. It's recommended that you avoid acidic and hard/crunchy foods like oranges, tomatoes, steaks, chips, and other junk foods like popcorn that get lodged in your gums.
Use Over-the-shelf Medicines for Pain Relief:
Mild discomfort is common after the procedure. You can get any over-the-counter painkiller to relieve your pain. You can easily get Ibuprofen, Advil and Tylenol from any online or physical store without a prescription. Follow the instructions on the packaging for dosage.
Expect Minor Bleeding in the First 2 Days:
You may experience mild bleeding in the initial 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Also, you get pink-reddish saliva due to bleeding, but there is nothing to worry about. You need to rinse your mouth 48 hours after your procedure. If the bleeding persists after 48 hours, you must contact your dentist.
Rinse with Saline Water 4-6 times a day:
After 48 hours of your procedure, you can rinse your mouth with salt water. Do it at least 5 to 6 times a day, and make sure your mouth stays clean.
Brush your Teeth Gently:
Most people think you can’t brush your teeth right after a deep cleaning which is not true. You can brush your teeth the same day you get your procedure done. However, ensure you do it with light hands using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Dental deep cleaning is not a routine procedure. You can’t get it done whenever you want. It is usually recommended for people showing early signs of gum disease. That said, it’s fine to get the cleaning done once or twice a year on your dentist’s recommendation. It will clean your mouth and keep it free from bacteria and other deadly gum diseases.
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