If you have not been to the dentist in a little while, you may be a little bit confused about the preventive care you need during your next visit. Can you get a regular teeth cleaning, or do you need a “deep cleaning?” At Vivid Smiles, we will make sure to clear up any confusion you may have about these terms so you can rest easy knowing that you’re receiving the treatment that’s right for your needs.
If you are scheduling a normal six-month preventive care appointment, you’re going to receive a regular cleaning. This type of teeth cleaning is standardized at every dental office. It’s intended to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, and provide your dentist and hygienist with a clear picture of your overall oral health.
We may suggest x-rays if you haven’t had any in the past few years, or if we have any concerns about your dental health. Next, your cleaning will begin. Your dental hygienist at Vivid Smiles will use a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and around your gums before using a gritty toothpaste and a powerful toothbrush to buff and polish your teeth. Your teeth will then be professionally flossed to remove any further debris.
After this, you’ll receive a thorough oral exam from Dr. Roshini Durga Parachuri or Dr. Nilanchal Sahai. They will examine your teeth and gums to determine if you have any dental issues, such as cavities or gum disease, that may require further treatment. If everything is looking healthy, we will schedule your next cleaning and you will be on your way.
Unlike a regular cleaning, deep cleanings (scaling & root planing) are not part of a routine dental visit for most patients. They are specifically intended to treat gum (periodontal) disease, and you won’t need them as long as your gums are healthy.
The process is usually done over two appointments, with half of your mouth treated at each appointment. Dr. Parachuri or Dr. Sahai will clean and numb your mouth. Then, they will use special dental tools to scrape plaque and tartar away from between your gums and teeth, and they will smooth out the roots of your teeth. This eliminates periodontal “pockets” where bacteria tend to collect and infect your gums.
After the treatment, you will often receive antibiotics to help control the spread of the bacteria that cause gum disease. With proper at-home oral care, you can usually reverse or halt the effects of gum disease. Depending on the severity of your case, we may have you come back for a few more deep cleanings to ensure that your mouth remains healthy.
We hope this clears up any confusion about regular cleanings and deep cleanings. While regular cleanings are required for all patients, deep cleanings are only necessary for the treatment of gum disease. If you’d like to learn more or schedule an appointment at Vivid Smiles, don’t wait. You can contact us at (812) 803-2340, or stop by our office at 2512 Wabash Avenue Terre Haute IN 47803. We hope to see you soon!