Scaling and root planing is the official dental term for “deep cleaning.” It’s a treatment for periodontal disease, a type of gum disease in which there is bone loss and a risk of tooth loss. During a deep cleaning appointment, the dental hygienist removes plaque, calculus (tartar), harmful bacteria, and diseased tissue. If you have periodontal disease, this treatment can help make your gums healthier, your mouth healthier, and possibly your whole body healthier.
Regular cleaning is for preventing periodontal disease. Deep cleaning is for treating periodontal disease. The deep cleaning is a more involved procedure and has extra steps, like numbing your mouth and smoothing the roots of the teeth. It takes more time and usually requires 2 or more appointments.
We schedule you an appointment 4-6 weeks after the deep cleaning to evaluate your gums and give you recommendations for keeping your mouth healthy. Most patients should return every three months for periodontal maintenance appointments (appointments that are similar to regular cleanings).
It all depends on the condition of your mouth. If you have periodontal disease, and you haven’t been to the dentist recently, then scaling and root planing might be the right option for you. During a comprehensive dental exam appointment, we can check your mouth, discuss your options, and make a recommendation that’s right for you.