General Dentistry |3 min read

What Is the Difference in a Deep Cleaning and Normal Cleaning?

deep cleanings vs. regular cleanings

Going to the dentist is an important part of maintaining your dental hygiene. You may have heard your hygienist mention that you need a “deep cleaning” during your appointment. There are two types of cleanings: deep cleanings and normal cleanings. What is the difference between these two? And which one do you need? This blog post will discuss the differences between deep cleaning and regular dental cleanings and when you should consider getting a deep cleaning done.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleanings are also called scaling and root planing. This is a more intensive cleaning than a regular cleaning, and it is usually done when there is tartar buildup below the gum line. The deep cleaning process involves numbing the gums, and then the dentist will use special instruments to remove the tartar buildup. This process can take up to an hour and sometimes multiple visits, depending on the severity of the tartar buildup. 

Regular Hygiene Appointment

Regular dental cleanings are less intensive and are usually done every six months. During a regular cleaning, the dentist will remove any plaque and tartar above the gum line. They will also polish your teeth to make them look their best! Regular dental cleanings are important in maintaining your oral health and preventing gum disease.

Deep Cleaning vs. Regular Dental Cleaning

The main difference between these types of cleanings is not “which is better?” Regular cleanings are used to maintain a healthy smile and to prevent cavities and gum disease. The tartar cleaned during this visit has not progressed into the gum line. A scaler is used to remove the tartar easily. This is done every six months. If you have tartar buildup below the gum line, deep cleanings are necessary to remove the tartar and improve your oral health. Your hygienist will go below the tooth’s surface to remove calculus and debris that accumulates at the tooth’s root. Deep cleanings can be uncomfortable, but they are worth it to maintain your beautiful smile! 

Your dentist will likely recommend a deep cleaning if you already have gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Careful consideration of your needs and health history and a thorough discussion with your dentist can help ensure that the deep cleaning is a success.

  • Check in with your dentist on where you are physically, mentally, and emotionally before the appointment.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your visit.
  • Brush and floss daily, then refrigerate or freeze leftover toothpaste, so it doesn’t taste funky when you brush.
  • Make sure you’re brushing for two minutes or longer before coming to the office to make sure you’ve removed all excess plaque.
  • Be prepared for a thorough oral examination.
  • Bring any medications or supplements that need to be taken on an empty stomach.
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes early for check-in.
  • Have identification on hand in case there are any questions about insurance.
  • Don’t forget to bring any X-rays or other scans from previous appointments.

Having some good home care practices before visiting the dental office is important to ensure a comfortable visit. At ProGrin Dental, we care about all of our patients and want them to have great overall health, and that starts with your oral health! If you want to know more about preventing any health issues, schedule your appointment today by calling your nearest office