What is a Dental Deep Cleaning?Munil Koppanati
You may be familiar with regularly scheduled dental appointments where your dentist gives a quick cleaning and polish of your teeth to really make them feel vibrant. These regular appointments help to clean up any soft, easy to remove tartar before they become too adherent to the teeth and become plaque. Regular dental cleaning appointments are a must-do for anyone that wants to maintain their oral hygiene and preserve their beautiful smile.
However, patients who have neglected to attend regularly scheduled dental appointments or who have not been taking care of their teeth properly at home, may develop hard stuck on plaque which would require a deeper, more thorough cleaning. Bad habits like not brushing your teeth at least twice a day, forgetting to floss everyday, and not using mouthwash can all lead to gradual accumulation of plaque and tartar. And once hard, stuck on plaque forms, it is extremely difficult to remove at home and can only be taken care of in a dental office. And if not treated for an extended period of time, your gums could be affected and can potentially injure your teeth and the underlying bone as well.
A deep cleaning to help remove that hard stuck on plaque involves two processes: scaling and root planing. Scaling requires special tools to remove plaque from both below and above the gum line. Root planing on the other hand smooths out the roots of your teeth to make it less likely for plaque to re-accumulate in the future. Because deep cleaning works to get rid of hard stuck on deposits, the procedure can produce a bit more discomfort than a standard cleaning. Along with this, deep cleanings can be more expensive and take a longer time to complete as well.
Is Deep Dental Cleaning Painful?
Deep dental cleanings can be a bit uncomfortable depending on the extent of cleaning that is required, as well as your individual pain tolerance. However, thanks to numbing agents and pain medications, the process is much easier to deal with. Of course, after the procedure has been completed and your pain medications begin to wear off, you will experience some discomfort that may make it difficult to chew or bite down into foods for the first few hours.
Things like warm salt water gargles, cold compresses, and over the counter pain medications can help make pain after a deep cleaning more tolerable.
How Long Does a Dental Deep Cleaning Take?
Most deep cleaning sessions can take anywhere from 30 minutes to even two hours. There isn’t an exact number as factors such as the extent of plaque and tartar accumulation can affect the amount of time needed by your dentist to provide a deep and thorough cleaning. Of course, your dentist can provide you with a estimate regarding exactly how long the procedure will take.