Undergoing a dental cleaning on a regular basis helps prevent gum disease and keep plaque at bay. However, not everyone visits their dentist as often as they should. According to research published by the American Dental Association, only 52.3 percent of adults reported that they visited the dentist every six months. Another 15.4 percent reported once per year, and 11 percent reported once every two to three years. A whopping 21.3 percent of respondents reported they have not visited a dentist in several years.
If it has been awhile since you last saw your dentist, you may have a considerable buildup of plaque or tartar on your teeth. When this happens, a standard cleaning is usually not sufficient. Your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning to remove the accumulation of harmful bacteria and tartar on teeth and gums. A deep cleaning may also be recommended for patients suffering from certain oral health conditions, such as gum or periodontal disease.
What Happens During a Regular Cleaning?
The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist at least once per year for a routine examination and cleaning. Patients with a history of periodontal disease should have their teeth cleaned more often to prevent a recurrence of disease or infection.
A standard dental cleaning generally begins with a physical exam. A dental hygienist will use a small mirror to check the condition of the teeth and gums. Certain symptoms, such as red or inflamed gums, could indicate an oral health condition that requires attention.
Next, the dental hygienist will use a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar on the gum line and in between the teeth. You may experience some painless scraping, especially in areas where there is a buildup of tartar. Regular brushing and flossing at home help to prevent plaque from turning into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a dentist.
After plaque and tartar are removed, the hygienist brushes your teeth with a high-powered electric brush. The toothpaste typically has a gritty texture. However, it is available in a variety of flavors to make the process more tolerable.
Once the toothpaste has been rinsed away, the hygienist flosses your teeth to remove any leftover plaque. In some instances, a fluoride treatment will be applied to help prevent cavities. If you agree to a fluoride treatment, a foamy gel will be put into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and left on for about one minute.
What Happens During a Deep Cleaning?
A deep dental cleaning, also referred to as periodontal scaling and root planning, is a dental procedure that focuses on treating gum disease. This differs from a regular teeth cleaning that aims to prevent gum disease.
There are several distinct differences between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning.
- A deep cleaning removes the buildup of bacteria from diseased gum tissue, while a regular cleaning removes bacteria buildup from healthy gum tissue.
- Deep cleanings are generally performed in two separate appointments, usually one side at a time. A regular dental cleaning is performed in just one visit.
- A deep cleaning may involve the use of tools not used in standard cleanings, such as a dental laser to sterilize the gums or an antibiotic chip implanted in the gums.
- Deep cleanings may involve the use of a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort as the hygienist cleans under the gums. Regular cleanings do not require numbing.
Do You Need a Deep or Regular Cleaning?
Everyone should visit their dentist every six to 12 months to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar and to maintain a healthy smile. Regular dental cleanings act as a preventative to ward off disease, inflammation, and infection.
Deep cleanings are usually recommended to patients who have not visited their dentist in a long time. Individuals with poor oral hygiene habits may also benefit from a deep cleaning from an experienced Clermont dentist.
If you require a regular or deep cleaning, our Clermont family dentistry practice delivers friendly service you can trust. To learn more about cleaning procedures or to speak with our dentist in Clermont, contact Hancock Village Dental.