Deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, is similar to regular dental cleaning. Both involve removing harmful oral bacteria from your teeth and/or oral tissues, and both are necessary to preventing extensive oral or periodontal disease. The difference is that everyone requires routine dental cleanings, typically at least twice a year, even when their teeth and gums are healthy. However, your Encinitas/San Diego periodontist will only recommend scaling and root planing if you’re at an increased risk of gum disease, or if gingivitis (early gum disease) has already developed.
Why Deep Cleaning Is Required
A routine dental cleaning appointment involves your dentist or hygienist thoroughly cleaning your teeth of harmful plaque and tartar (calcified plaque). Doing so helps ensure that the harmful oral bacteria that form plaque and tartar don’t have time to harm your teeth and gums. However, dental cleanings focus mainly on the visible crowns of your teeth, and to some extent, your gum line. When oral bacteria work their way underneath your gums, your dentist or hygienist can’t reach them through regular cleaning methods. Instead, your periodontal expert can carefully access your teeth roots underneath your gums to clean them of plaque and tartar and allow the gum tissues to heal.
What Scaling and Root Planing Mean
Deep cleaning and periodontal cleaning typically refer to the process of scaling and planing your teeth roots. Your periodontal expert will thoroughly clean away the bacteria that have gathered on your teeth roots, which requires carefully accessing the area underneath your gums. After cleaning the roots (scaling), she will polish and smooth them (planing) to discourage bacteria from accumulating on their surfaces again. Because scaling and root planing involves carefully accessing and cleaning your teeth roots rather than their visible crowns, it can often take multiple appointments to complete.
Find Out if You Need Scaling and Root Planing
With deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, your periodontal specialist can help you reverse early gingivitis, or at least stop its progression so you can avoid extensive damage to your gums. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.