A scale and polish is a type of dental cleaning performed during routine checkups. After removing plaque and tartar from areas that are difficult to clean with regular brushing and flossing, your dentist will polish the teeth to make them look their best.
Plaque and tartar may be removed with a scale and polish for most patients, but for some, the tartar may cause gum disease. The patient would require intensive dental care if this were the case.
Patients with gum disease, and especially those with severe periodontitis, may gain from a comprehensive dental cleaning. Tartar below the gum line can be removed with a deep cleaning. The procedure is painless because a local anesthetic is used. There is no discomfort during the procedure. However, some people may experience tender gums afterward.
This post takes a closer look at the process of deep cleaning scaling and root planing.
What is deep cleaning at the dentist?
Dental scaling and root planing, sometimes known simply as “deep cleaning,” is advised for individuals with gum disease who have tartar between their teeth and gums and even on the roots of their teeth. Lack of treatment for gum disease can result in tooth loss and even life-threatening infections.
A thorough cleaning can help reduce the space that has formed between the gums and teeth due to gum disease by removing plaque from below the gum line. During a normal scale or scale and polish, your dentist removes plaque above the gumline.
How to get ready for a professional deep dental cleaning?
Besides possibly rinsing with strong antiseptic mouthwash, there isn’t much you can do to prepare for deep cleaning scaling and root planing. This is because root planing will introduce many bacteria into your bloodstream.
The oral microbiome is fragile. Thus, I wouldn’t advise doing this. Instead, I advise eating a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar diet and engaging in practices like oil pulling and oral probiotics to maintain dental health and reduce inflammation.
You’ll be able to take the first steps toward reversing gum disease and preparing your immune system for a brief exposure to additional microorganisms.
You can also take an over-the-counter pain medication before the surgery if you’re worried about discomfort. CBD oil is my go-to natural remedy, although ibuprofen (Motrin) can be taken the night before and the morning after surgery to reduce inflammation.
How do you perform root planing and scaling?
Dentists often employ local or topical anesthetics to numb the area of the mouth where they’ll be working.
Tartar and plaque are removed from the tooth’s surface, gum line, and periodontal pocket during a scaling procedure.
After the plaque has been scraped off, your dentist will plane the rough spots off the tooth roots. Gum tissue can more easily attach to teeth after this treatment.
Periodontal deep cleaning scaling and root planing may require more than one visit to the dentist, depending on your condition. A post-procedure checkup may be required after this treatment.
What occurs during a root planing and scaling procedure?
This thorough cleaning entails two stages. When a dentist does a scaling procedure, he or she removes plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the tooth’s surface and the pocket’s interior. Next, your dentist will do root planing, a procedure in which the roots of your teeth are smoothed away to encourage gum tissue to reconnect to them. It may take more than one appointment and a local anesthetic to finish the deep cleaning scaling and root planing process.
After care tips
After a deep cleaning, your teeth may feel sensitive for several days and hurt for a few more. Your gums may enlarge, ache, and bleed as well.
Your dentist may recommend an antibiotic, pain reliever, or healing help to prevent infection, alleviate discomfort, or expedite recovery. Your dentist may insert subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline into the cleansed pocket to prevent infection further.
Your dentist will want to check on your gum health and take new pocket depth readings after some time. If they have progressed in-depth, more treatment may be required.
Maintaining a regular routine of at-home dental care is crucial in preventing gum disease from worsening or returning. Make regular trips to the dentist a part of your routine, and remember to brush your teeth twice a day using a soft brush and floss every day.
Is deep tooth cleaning painful?
Teeth cleanings can be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t hurt. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area.
For up to a week following treatment, you may have sensitivity and swelling around your gums and teeth. This is normal, but if you can, wait at least 24 hours following treatment to clean and floss your teeth to reduce the risk of aggravating discomfort. If you have dental sensitivity, it’s important to brush using a soft toothbrush and sensitive toothpaste. Finally, stay away from anything too hot or cold, as these extremes can trigger sensitivity.