ConditionsDental News

You may be on top of your oral hygiene routine — brushing twice a day with the latest do-it-all toothpaste and top of the line toothbrush, flossing regularly and properly, using the best mouthwash and even scraping your tongue too. That’s great but it doesn’t mean you don’t a dental cleaning.

A deep cleaning of teeth is one of the best ways to improve your health and with the latest dental cleaning equipment and anaesthetics, it easier, faster and more comfortable than ever before.

So how do you know if you really need one? Sometimes it’s obvious, you haven’t had your teeth cleaned in a long time or your gums are clearly inflamed, swollen or bleed easily when you brush or floss.

This procedure is more correctly called dental scaling and root planning and is usually done in two to four visits but can be completed in one longer appointment. The dental cleaning equipment used is the same that is used for your regular cleaning appointment. The difference between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning is your hygienist has more time to focus on each tooth and clean them all thoroughly above and below your gums. Your mouth will be numb and very comfortable and sometimes a numbing rinse is used. The dental calculus or tartar, that has built up under your gum line and caused your gums to become inflamed, is removed. Your hygienist will use ultrasonic teeth cleaning equipment followed by hand scaling instruments making the process faster and more comfortable.

Lasers are used for a variety of dental procedures and can be used to remove diseased gum tissue after the deep cleaning of teeth. Not every hygienist uses a laser and this step is not always needed but if necessary, a laser makes the gums heal faster and more completely. A different type of laser is used in combination with an ultrasonic instrument as an alternative to traditional gum surgery, LANAP laser gum treatment is done by some dentists and periodontists. This is a different procedure than dental deep cleaning but a very thorough deep cleaning is part of the LANAP procedure and in most cases LANAP is done in place of a deep cleaning and periodontal surgery.

Do you really need it a deep cleaning or will a regular cleaning suffice? If your dentist or hygienist says you need a deep cleaning and you are not so sure, ask questions until you have a clear understanding. But if you don’t make it to the dentist as often as you should or have had gum problems, it may be a good idea.