Dental Deep Cleaning

Dental Care Center of Decatur

Lynn A. Livingston, DDS

Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Decatur, GA

Dental deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planing, is the first step in treating or avoiding gum disease. By cleaning the pockets that form between your teeth and gums, as well as the surface of the roots of your teeth, you can remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay, all in just a few quick visits to Lynn A. Livingston, DDS, of Dental Care Center of Decatur. Call the Decatur, Georgia, office today or make an appointment online.

Dental Deep Cleaning

What is a dental deep cleaning?

A dental deep cleaning is a procedure that Dr. Livingston can use to promote the health of your teeth and to treat gum or periodontal disease. Also known as scaling and root planing, a dental deep cleaning removes the plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and cleans out any pockets between your teeth and gums, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Deep cleaning is often necessary for people who have not had a regular dental cleaning every six months, as is recommended. 

How do I know if I need dental deep cleaning?

You’re most likely to need a dental deep cleaning if you have missed one or more of your regular dental cleanings. When you visit the Dental Care Center of Decatur, Dr. Livingston will use a probe to measure the depth of any pockets that have formed between your teeth and gums. 

In healthy gums, there should be no more than 3 millimeters between your teeth and gums. A pocket has formed in any place where the distance is greater than 5 millimeters.

You may have started to notice some of the early symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease, but sometimes a dental deep cleaning is necessary before you notice anything is wrong. 

What is it like to have a dental deep cleaning?

Dental deep cleanings are typically performed by a hygienist and can be done in 1-2 visits. The first step is known as scaling, and your hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from any pockets that have formed. This may be done with either an ultrasonic instrument or a set of manual scaling tools.

The second part of a dental deep cleaning is root planing. A scaling tool is inserted between the gum and tooth to clean the surface of the tooth root and remove any bacteria that has begun to grow there. This can be uncomfortable, and it is not uncommon to experience some moderate bleeding during this procedure, especially if periodontal disease has already begun.

After your deep cleaning, be sure to brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly to ensure that plaque and tartar don’t begin building up in any pockets that have not yet had a chance to heal.

If you’ve missed your last dental check-up or if you’re beginning to experience symptoms of gum disease, call the Dental Care Center of Decatur to schedule an appointment, or request one online.