Professional cleaning involves scaling teeth and the gumline to extract any plaque and tartar, and polishing to remove stains and smooth the surface of the tooth. This is done to keep teeth and gums healthy. If you have symptoms of gum disease, however, you may need another type of cleaning, called scaling.
Although routine cleanings are done to prevent gum disease, scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure done to treat periodontal disease. When bacterial plaque and tartar build up around the gums, tissues that support your teeth may be affected and gum disease can develop causing deeper pockets to form.
Scaling and root planing (or “deep cleaning”) teeth may take more than one appointment to complete, and a local anesthetic may be utilized for any discomfort. The procedure involves thoroughly scaling all plaque, bacterial toxins and tartar deposits from your teeth and root surfaces; and then root planing, which smoothes all rough areas on your roots’ surfaces. Smooth root surfaces keep plaque, tartar and other bacteria from resurfacing underneath the gum line, allowing your gums to heal and reattach themselves more firmly.
After periodontal treatment, whether surgical or not, a schedule of maintenance visits may be necessary. These maintenance visits include routine cleanings and careful examination of your gum tissue, as well as measurements of your pocket depths and to measure gum recession. Overall, this conservative procedure plays a critical role in treating periodontal disease.