Dentistry can be confusing. For example, there are two common types of cleanings offered by dentists. These are routine preventive cleanings and “deep cleanings.” What’s the difference? Find out now in this blog from Lakeside Dental.
Routine cleanings are provided as part of every six-month preventive dentistry appointment. They’re simple to understand.
First, x-rays will be taken of your mouth, if needed. Then, a hygienist at Lakeside Dental will scrape away plaque and tartar from your teeth, buff and polish them, and floss your teeth to remove any remaining debris.
Then, Dr. Blalock will examine your mouth and your x-rays, determine if you have any oral health issues, and schedule any necessary follow-ups. That’s it!
Deep cleanings, also called “scaling and root planing” are a special type of treatment used to treat patients with gum disease. They are quite different from a routine cleaning. In this process, Dr. Blalock will use special tools to clean between the teeth and gums, and to smooth out the roots of the teeth.
This process takes 1-2 hours, and must be done under local numbing to ensure you do not feel any discomfort. In addition, only one half of your mouth is cleaned at each appointment, so a deep cleaning will take at least 2 appointments at Lakeside Dental.
Deep cleanings are used to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease. Along with good at-home oral care and antibiotics, deep cleanings are usually enough to halt or even reverse mild or moderate cases of gum disease.
Deep cleanings are not needed for people with healthy mouths. The only reason you would need a deep cleaning is if you have gum disease, which is an infection of the gums caused by poor oral hygiene and certain lifestyle habits.
If you do have gum disease, a deep cleaning is usually the first treatment Dr. Blalock will try to try and control the infection and prevent it from getting worse. However, if this is not enough, further treatments and surgeries may be required to restore your oral health.
The process of a deep cleaning does not hurt, since your mouth will be numb during the procedure. However, since the process is more invasive than a routine cleaning, you may notice some pain or sensitivity for a week or two after your procedure at Lakeside Dental.
On average, it takes about 5-7 days for your gums to heal after a deep cleaning. During this time, you may experience some minor bleeding and gum swelling, as well as tenderness and sensitivity. Dr. Blalock will recommend that you avoid extremely hot or cold foods and drinks to reduce sensitivity as you heal, and will provide you with further recovery instructions after your deep cleaning.
Whether you’re overdue for a six-month routine cleaning or you suspect that you may have gum disease and may need a deep cleaning, Dr. Joseph Blalock is here to provide you with the care you need in Lenoir City. Contact us online or give us a call at 865-635-4999 to get started today.