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Medically Reviewed by Lisa A. Turner, DDS, MSD

At Venice Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we understand that when you think about having dental cleanings, you probably congratulate yourself on attending your twice-yearly check-up visits. If you don’t know what a “deep dental cleaning” is, chances are you’ve been taking great care of your teeth and gums. In cases of periodontal (gum) disease, however, an additional, more thorough cleaning is often required. This type of periodontal cleaning, performed under the gum line, is known as a “deep cleaning.”

What Are the Goals of My Regular Dental Cleanings?

Regular dental cleanings focus on removing plaque, stains, tartar and calculus from the crowns of the teeth and above the gumline. The scaling is primarily targeted to the outside of the upper molars, and the inside of the front lower teeth since calculus tends to build up in these areas. During your regular dental checkup, your dentist will use a periodontal probe to check for signs of gum inflammation, evidence that the gums are pulling away from the teeth and bleeding: all indicators of periodontal disease. If periodontal disease is found, your dentist will recommend that you seek a trained periodontist, such as Dr. Lisa Turner in Venice, Florida. 

What Are the Advantages of a Deep Cleaning?

A deep cleaning, also known as root planing and scaling, involves cleaning the area between the gum line and the roots to remove calculus, bacteria, plaque and tartar from under the gum line. Venice Periodontics and Implant Dentistry recommends you schedule this type of cleaning when the gum pockets around the teeth measure at least 4 millimeters, when X-rays show evidence of bone loss or when there is long-term inflammation of the gums, indicating periodontal disease. Root scaling and planing smooth out the surfaces and roots of the teeth, making it harder for bacteria and calculi (accumulated hardened tartar) to attach to the tooth and cause further damage.

Do Deep Dental Cleanings Cause Pain?

Deep dental cleanings take longer than a regular dental cleaning. Depending on the extent of calculus and tartar buildup, multiple sessions may be required. Since the procedure involves working beneath the gum line, your periodontist will likely use an injectable anesthetic to keep you comfortable. Antibiotic gels and rinses may also be used to remove bacteria and treat any infection revealed by the deep cleaning process.

Venice Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is a team of dental professionals who have decades of experience working together with patients in need of specialty dental services. If you suffer from periodontal disease, contact us to schedule an exam and consultation with our board certified periodontist today!