No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

What Happens When You Get A Deep Dental Cleaning

by Jeremiah Barnett

Did your dentist tell you that you need to get a deep dental cleaning performed, and you're not sure what that means? This procedure is also referred to as scaling and root planing, and it is often needed when someone has tartar below their gums that is much harder to remove. 

The Dentist May Start On The Same Day 

It's very possible that the dentist will want to start on your deep cleaning on the very same day. This is because deep dental cleanings frequently take multiple visits to perform the procedure, and they'll want to get started on the work that needs to be done. However, your deep cleaning may be delayed if you need to check your insurance to make sure that it is covered, or if they simply do not have time during your initial visit

The Dentist Will Clean Half Your Mouth At A Time

Another reason that a dentist will take multiple visits to perform a deep cleaning is that it is common to only clean half of your mouth at a time. Your dentist may start by cleaning the left half of your teeth on the first visit and then perform the deep cleaning of the right half on the next visit. This is because they will numb your mouth to perform a deep cleaning, and you will want to have one functioning side of your mouth after the procedure. It will help avoid accidentally biting your cheek or tongue without realizing it. 

The Dentist Will Use An Ultrasonic Scaler And Hand Scaler

A common tool that is used for deep dental cleanings is the ultrasonic scaler. It uses a lot of water and cleans the tartar off your teeth by using vibrations. It's a great alternative to using a hand scaler since you won't feel anything sharp poking into your gums. They will alternate between the ultrasonic scaler and the hand scaler though since they both are important tools in getting your gums clean.

The Dentist Can Apply More Anesthesia

If you do feel discomfort during the procedure, let your dentist know right away. There is no reason to feel pain during a deep cleaning, and the dentist can apply more anesthesia to the area that they are working on so that it is completely numb. 

The Dentist Will Take Additional X-rays

It is common to have x-rays taken of your teeth to verify that there is no more tartar hidden underneath the gums. They will then go back during the same visit to focus on hidden tartar that they missed the first time.