Did you know that there are two common types of dental cleanings? Though deep cleanings and routine cleanings may sound similar, they’re quite different. Routine cleanings are recommended for all patients, while deep cleanings are only needed if Dr. Blalock diagnoses you with periodontal (gum) disease. Read on, and learn more about the differences between these treatments at Lakeside Dental.
A routine cleaning is done as part of every six-month preventive dentistry appointment at our office. In this treatment, a dental hygienist will check your mouth for oral health issues, scrape away plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, and then polish them using a special polishing tool.
Finally, your mouth will be flossed. Usually, Dr. Blalock will perform a comprehensive oral exam after your cleaning is done, which completes your six-month visit to our office. Six-month cleanings are always recommended for all patients as part of our approach to preventive care.
A “deep cleaning” is also known as “scaling and root planing.” This is very different from a standard teeth cleaning, and it’s only necessary if you have periodontal (gum) disease.
Gum disease can happen due to improper oral hygiene, an unhealthy diet, and a number of other risk factors. In this disease, bacteria begin to build up between your gums and teeth, and attack your gum tissue. In the short-term, this causes gum swelling, bad breath, and bleeding when brushing, among other minor symptoms.
In the long-term, though, gum disease will cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums, and can even result in the loss of some or all of your teeth.
That’s where a deep cleaning comes in. In this periodontal care procedure, Dr. Blalock will use a variety of special dental instruments to scrape tartar and plaque away from between your teeth and your gums. Then, he will “plane” the roots of your teeth, smoothing them to help prevent the buildup of bacteria underneath your teeth and gums. In most cases, antibiotics are also used to prevent the further buildup of bacteria.
Deep cleanings require two appointments, since one half of your mouth will be treated at each visit, and you may need to come in for deep cleanings every 3 months until the progression of gum disease has been halted or is reversed.
Your mouth will be numb during the process, but a deep cleaning is significantly more invasive than a standard teeth cleaning. You can expect your gums and teeth to be sore for a day or two after your appointment.
It will take your gums about 5-7 days to heal completely from your deep cleaning, but you can usually get back to your normal day-to-day routine quickly. You will need to avoid certain foods, take care when brushing your teeth, and follow the recovery instructions provided to you by Dr. Blalock to ensure you heal quickly.
Whether you’re overdue for a six-month checkup and need a standard teeth cleaning, or you suspect you may have gum disease and need a deep cleaning, Dr. Joseph Blalock is here to help. Contact Lakeside Dental online or give us a call at 865-635-4999 to schedule an appointment right away.