Dental cleaning forms the cornerstone of good oral health, and it plays a very important role in the fight against gum disease and tooth loss. At Northridge Advanced Dentistry, Dr. Isaac Kashani has extensive experience in routine and deep dental cleaning techniques aimed at helping patients enjoy optimal oral health at every age.

Dental Cleaning Q & A

What are the benefits of dental cleaning?

Dental cleaning removes built-up deposits of plaque and hard tartar where gum disease-causing bacteria can hide and grow. Even patients who brush and floss regularly will need dental cleanings every six months from professional dentists and hygienists. Gum disease bacteria cause infections around the root pockets surrounding the teeth, eventually causing teeth to weaken and fall out. In fact, advanced gum disease (or periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Routine cleaning appointments are an important part of preventing and treating gum disease in its early stages.

What is deep cleaning?

Deep cleaning uses special cleaning techniques called root planing and scaling to remove bacteria and tartar buildup below the gums and around the tooth root. These techniques are used in patients with moderate to advanced gum disease, whose gums have significantly receded or moved down the tooth surface, exposing more of the lower portion of the tooth and threatening the health of the tooth.

Does deep cleaning hurt?

Many patients tolerate deep cleaning quite well, while more sensitive patients may require anesthesia to prevent discomfort, especially those with enlarged pockets of bacteria located deep within the root pocket and around the root itself. Anesthesia can also be used to help very sensitive patients remain comfortable during routine cleaning. The decision whether or not to use anesthesia is made on a patient-by-patient basis after an evaluation of the patient’s needs, preferences and tolerance for discomfort.

Can root planing and scaling be completed in a single office visit?

That depends on the amount of tartar that needs to be removed and the size of the area being treated, as well as the patient’s own comfort level. In some patients, tartar and plaque are easier to remove, and a deep cleaning proceeds relatively quickly, even for extensive areas. Others have very hard deposits that are more difficult to remove from the tooth surface, and it may be best to “spread out” cleanings over multiple sessions.

What happens after my deep cleaning?

Many patients will have antibiotics following a deep cleaning to make sure all the bacteria have been eliminated, and additional routine cleanings every three months are typically performed to help the gums return to their healthy condition. Dr. Kashani will discuss a follow-up treatment plan with each patient, which may include fillings to repair any damage.

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