Regular Teeth Cleanings Vs. Deep Cleanings – What’s The Difference?

If you’re overdue for a dentist appointment, a “deep cleaning” sounds like it may be just what you need. But in fact, routine preventive teeth cleanings and deep cleanings are very different procedures that serve very different purposes. Confused? You won’t be for long! Read on to learn more about the differences between regular teeth cleanings and deep cleanings at Lifetime Smiles.

Regular Teeth Cleanings Are Meant For Routine Preventive Care 

If you’ve ever seen a dentist in your life, you probably already know what to expect from a routine teeth cleaning. These cleanings, along with oral exams from a dentist, form the foundation of modern preventive dentistry.

In the teeth cleaning process, your hygienist will usually start by taking x-rays if you need them. Then, they’ll remove bacteria-filled plaque and tartar from your teeth, use a high-powered brush to buff them, and floss away any remaining food particles and other debris.

This lets your hygienist and doctor get a clear view of your teeth during your exam. The cleaning also helps prevent issues like tooth decay and gum disease, so a routine teeth cleaning every six months is a great way to ensure your mouth stays healthy.

If you aren’t doing so already, we highly recommend coming to Lifetime Smiles at least every six months to keep your smile healthy and prevent further oral health issues. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 

Deep Cleanings Are Used To Treat Gum Disease

Deep cleanings are a very different dental treatment. Unlike a regular teeth cleaning, you don’t need to get a deep cleaning unless you have gum disease. If you have gingivitis or a more advanced case of gum disease, though, deep cleanings are usually the best way to control the infection, halt its progress, or even eliminate it completely.

During a deep cleaning, your hygienist will perform a scaling and root planing treatment. This involves removing away plaque and tartar from between your teeth and below the gumline (scaling) as well as using special dental tools to smooth down the roots of your teeth (root planing) to eliminate pockets of bacteria and prevent further infection.

Usually, one side of your mouth is treated at a time, so each deep cleaning will take two appointments. Along with antibiotics and prescription mouthwash, deep cleanings are usually the best option for treating minor-to-moderate cases of gum disease. 

You may require multiple appointments at our office to treat your gum disease, and you will likely also require periodontal maintenance appointments every 3 months to keep your gum disease in check and prevent it from progressing.

Come Into Lifetime Smiles & Take Control Of Your Oral Health 

If you’re overdue for a dentist appointment in Escondido, Valley Center, San Marcos, or anywhere else in North County San Diego, Dr. Christo Mallakis and Dr. Rabee McDonald are here for you. At Lifetime Smiles, we’re always here to help you get the expert dental care you need, and ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy for years to come. Contact us or give us a call at (760) 747-1811 to get started. We’re always accepting new patients!