Why Do I Need Deep Cleanings?

Have you been to the dentist recently or in the past and been told you need a “deep cleaning”? Well, the question is, why?

A “deep cleaning” is required when there is active gum disease (periodontal disease) present in your mouth. Gum disease involves the destruction of the backbone of what holds our teeth in place, which is also termed the periodontium (cementum, alveolar bone, gingiva and cementum). When our periodontium is put at risk, this is what puts our teeth at risk for tooth loss. If you have been told you need a deep cleaning this is also interchangeable with the technical term “scaling and root planing.” The reason for a “deep cleaning” suggests that there is an influx of bacteria beneath the gums or hardened plaque (calculus) beneath the gums that needs to be removed when a regular routine cleaning will not suffice.

What To Expect During a Deep Cleaning:

If you need a deep cleaning it is a little different from a routine cleaning at the dental office. For the procedure, you will be given Novocaine since the dental hygienist will be working on the root surfaces of your teeth, which are below the gum surface. This area is known to be tender or cause discomfort if the nerves affected were not numb. The dentist will be able to administer the Novocaine (local anesthetic) so that you are comfortable and do not feel anything during the process!

After you are determined to be numb, the dental hygienist will work tooth by tooth using his or her special instruments to remove the bacteria and hardened plaque on the root surfaces of the teeth. This will smooth out the root surfaces so that the gums have a nice base to reattach to eliminating periodontal pockets. In special cases, if a large periodontal pocket is present the hygienist may administer a local antibiotic directly into the pocket area below the gumline that slowly releases the medicine over a period of time to help shrink the pocket.

Now, with deep cleanings they take time and usually are broken up into a sequence of appointments. For example, the dental hygienist will divide the teeth into 4 quadrants and may start with an upper and lower right quadrant in one visit, then a week or so later treat the other upper and right quadrant at a separate visit. This allows your mouth for some time to heal and ensure that you are not sitting in the dental chair for hours on end!

Contact River Run Dental Spa:

If you have been told in the past or recently you need a deep cleaning, it is important that you listen to your dental provider! By putting off the deep cleaning, it can cause the disease state in the mouth to worsen and may affect tooth loss down the road. If you are looking for an office that you can feel comfortable in, those of us at River Run Dental Spa are here for you! Our excellent Richmond, VA dental hygienists will be sure to be gentle and provide a positive experience for you during your deep cleaning appointments.

If you are a returning or new patient with us, please visit us here to schedule. We look forward to seeing you in the office soon!