Our skilled and experienced hygienists provide thorough deep cleanings for our patients who have mild to severe gum disease. They use high-tech instrumentation to make the cleanings comfortable and efficient. Deep cleaning is a key element of gum disease treatment, and is often enough to reduce or even eliminate the pockets caused by the disease, many times avoiding the need for periodontal surgery.
What is Deep Cleaning?
Deep cleaning is the first line of attack against gum disease. With the bacterial infection removed, a healthy environment is created where the gums can heal and firmly support the teeth. After healing, any pain or sensitivity caused by the disease disappears.
Deep cleaning is a more comprehensive procedure than a regular teeth cleaning. A simple cleaning mainly removes the bacteria on the visible part of the teeth above the gumline. A deep cleaning thoroughly removes the accumulated bacterial deposits lying both above and well below the gumline. It is the bacteria lying below the gumline that cause the infection known as periodontitis.
How deep cleaning works
Deep cleaning is also called scaling and root planing, as these are the two actions that remove the bacteria that create the infection.
Scaling is the action of removing the plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) and calculus (hardened clumps of plaque) from the tooth surfaces above and below the gumline. Our hygienists use an ultrasonic scaler to gently and thoroughly clean these deposits away. The tip of the scaler produces soft, high-speed vibrations that break up and dislodge the plaque while simultaneously shattering the cell walls of the bacteria and killing them. Ultrasonic scalers clean deeper and faster than conventional instruments and are more comfortable for patients.
Root planing is the action of taking a special instrument and smoothing out any rough surfaces, abrasions, small pits and residual calculus from the tooth roots. For gum disease treatment to be effective, it is vital that the tooth root surfaces are made smooth. Smooth surfaces make it easy for the gums to reattach to the tooth, and difficult for bacteria to stick to.
Who Can Receive a Deep Cleaning?
We offer deep cleaning as a service to anyone with gum disease, even if it is only in a beginning stage. The earlier the bacterial infection is detected and cleaned away, the better. Dr. Israelson starts with deep cleaning for patients with moderate and even severe cases of gum disease. Since our deep cleanings are so thorough, in many cases we can eliminate the disease with this procedure alone and avoid periodontal surgery.
Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings
No matter how good your home oral care is, it cannot clean away all the bacteria that accumulate on your teeth and below your gumline. Regularly scheduled periodontal maintenance cleanings are essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy over the long-term. Depending on your circumstances, Dr. Israelson schedules your maintenance cleaning appointments between three and six months apart.