You come in for your regular dental checkup at True Dental Care Preston and we tell you that you’ll need to come back for a “deep cleaning” under the gumline.
You might wonder what that treatment is, why you need it, and if it should be on your regular dental schedule?
The fact is, it is not a regularly scheduled dental treatment, but it is a common one. The dental term for this procedure is “root scaling and planing,” and it’s been used in dentistry for a very long time to clean teeth even at the roots, below the gumline.
Why would I need a deep cleaning?
Tartar, bacteria, and food debris can collect on your teeth, between them, and under the gum line. If these aren’t removed, they can cause gingivitis, tooth and bone decay, and finally tooth loss.
Simple brushing and flossing aren’t enough to battle this buildup. A professional dental deep cleaning is necessary to remove these deposits and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
As plaque and tartar reach below the gums, your immune system tries to fight them by releasing natural substances that also lead your gums to swell and recede, causing detachment from your teeth.
This allows pockets to form between your teeth and gums, which then let even more bacteria, plaque, and tartar collect.
Gingivitis develops when the bacteria irritate and infect your gums, making them red, tender, and swollen. This infection can expand to other parts of the mouth, eventually even to the bone.
If untreated, periodontal disease can destroy the connection between your teeth and jawbone.
During your regular dental check-ups, your dental hygienist measures the sizes of the pockets in your gums to assess the chance you have early periodontal disease – or gum disease.
If your pockets are deeper than 4-5mm, your dentist will recommend a deep cleaning, known as scaling and root planing, to fight the problem.
Scaling & Root Planing Procedure
Scaling and root planing is often performed on one or two-quarters of the mouth at a time. During the visit, your True Dental Care Preston dentist or hygienist will typically begin by numbing the area to be treated.
Next, your dental professional will carefully work under the gum line to clear away calculus and debris.
After this, your dentist will carefully plane the root of the tooth, to smooth out locations bacteria could collect in the future. Your dentist or dental hygienist will also give you recommendations and demonstrations on how to keep your teeth clean in the future.
Recovery from a scaling and root planing is usually mild. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic course for you or may recommend an OTC pain reliever if you experience pain or discomfort in the treatment area.
Your dentist should also provide you with after-care instructions, and tell you when it is safe to resume your regular oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing.
Your dentist may recommend that you return, normally in about 3 months, for a checkup to make sure everything is healing as it should.
Gum disease can be treated and in many cases cured, but may also require regular checkups every 3 months or so, to check on the health of your teeth, gums and, bone to be sure your gums have healed and no bacteria are present.
Some patients with a predisposition to gum disease may have to schedule regular periodontal maintenance cleanings, while others may simply return to their regular hygiene routine and twice-yearly dental check-ups.
After Root Scaling and Planing
You’re normally given a local anaesthetic to numb your gums before the deep cleaning; consequently, some areas of your mouth may be numb after the treatment. There shouldn’t be much pain or discomfort after the procedure.
You, however, may feel sensitivity for up to a week or two, although any pain should subside within a day or two after the treatment.
You might have some bleeding or swelling after root scaling and planing. After you have had your deep cleaning, your dentist may prescribe an oral antibiotic to protect against infection caused by the procedures.
Dental Health in Preston
The foundation of True Dental Care Preston is a passion for healthy, beautiful smiles. Our team is composed of Australian trained dentists, nurses, and a prosthetist.
We offer general dentistry, implants and cosmetic dentistry, and emergency services, all in our advanced facility with highly trained staff and cutting-edge technology.
Our offices are near the corner of Donovan St and Bell St, only 25 meters from the Bell Train Station! Our convenient offices are on the ground floor.
True Dental Care Preston offers an extensive range of treatment options from pain management to implants and Invisalign®.
Call (03) 9131 5952 or visit us at 358 Bell St in Preston.