Dental cleanings are part of a good oral health program. Regular cleanings at your Saginaw, MI dentist are essential for helping you maintain a healthy mouth and gums. But periodically, Dr. Jennifer Schau DDS may suggest a deep cleaning. That may make you wonder just what the difference is between routine dental cleanings and deep cleanings.
Deep Cleanings vs. Regular Cleanings: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between deep cleanings and routine regular cleanings is that a deep cleaning is more extensive. The purpose of regular cleanings is to keep the teeth clean and to help prevent cavities. It’s also beneficial for preventing gum disease. A scaler is used to remove tartar that hasn’t yet invaded the gums. However, if the tartar buildup becomes too much, only deep cleaning by your Saginaw dentist can remove it.
Deep cleanings go further to remove debris and calculus that accumulates in the root area of the teeth. These visits are longer than what is necessary for routine cleanings, and sometimes, it takes more than one session. Root planing is a technique that is only done during a deep dental cleaning, not during routine regular cleanings. That is one of the main differences between the two types of dental cleanings.
Regular Cleanings & Oral Exams – The First Step Of Preventive Dentistry
Regular cleanings and routine oral exams are intended to be preventative in nature. They are key to helping prevent gum disease and cavities. Dr. Schau recommends that all patients schedule regular exams and cleanings. During a regular cleaning, a dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from teeth using specialized tools. This is very important since brushing alone cannot remove them. After your teeth have been cleaned, they are polished using a powerful buffing tool.
Deep Cleaning (Scaling & Root Planing) – Treatment For Gingivitis & Gum Disease
Deep cleanings are more than just a good surface cleaning of the gums and teeth. It’s often called scaling and root planing. A deep cleaning is only recommended if you have gum disease. You will need to have your mouth numbed for the treatment. Only half of your mouth will be cleaned in a single session. Dr. Schau will clean deeply between your teeth and below the gum line to remove bacteria that cause gum gingivitis and gum disease. A special tool will be used to smooth out the roots. This helps to eliminate periodontal pockets that form and collect bacteria when someone has gum disease. You may also be given antibiotics after a deep cleaning. She may suggest an antibiotic mouth rinse to use to help control bacteria buildup.
What’s Right For Me? A Deep Cleaning Or A Regular Cleaning?
If you do not have gingivitis or gum disease, you do not need a deep cleaning. However, you do need regular teeth cleanings and oral exams to ensure your mouth and gums stay healthy. If you have plaque and tartar buildup which causes gum disease, Dr. Schau may recommend deep cleanings to restore your oral health. If caught early, gum disease can be easily treated and reversed.
The Importance of Dental Cleanings
Regular cleanings are an essential part of maintaining good oral health and preventing gum disease. Besides keeping teeth and gums healthy, regular dental cleanings also give your family dentist the opportunity to examine your teeth. They may spot issues like gingivitis or cavities early enough that they can be effectively treated. By keeping your six-month routine visits to your dentist, you can keep teeth and gums in good shape and avoid developing major dental problems between visits.
What Can Happen If Dental Cleanings are Missed?
Regular teeth cleanings allow dentists to detect problems before they become major concerns. Routine exams help prevent many issues from occurring. If you continue to miss cleanings, some things that can happen include:
- Cavities – When plaque and tartar build up, they are difficult to remove even with good oral hygiene habits. Tooth decay can occur between teeth and cavities can require more dental visits to repair.
- Gum Disease – When plaque and tartar accumulate along the gum line, it can become inflamed. Then, small pockets form around the teeth which allows more bacteria and debris to build up. This can lead to periodontal disease which can cause tooth and bone loss.
- Bad Breath – Plaque and tartar buildup can cause chronic bad breath that cannot be masked by breath mints or gum.
- Loss of Teeth – Neglected teeth and poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth loss. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria that is allowed to build up in the mouth will damage teeth, inflame the gums, and can lead to the loss of one or more teeth.
- Risk of Oral Cancer – During routine exams and regular teeth cleanings, the dental hygienist or dentist also checks for abnormalities. Oftentimes, they can detect early signs of oral cancer which may go undetected in its earliest stages without routine exams.
Call to Schedule an Exam or Dental Cleaning Today!
Are you ready to reap the benefits of regular teeth cleanings and exams? If you haven’t had an exam in a while, or it’s time for your next exam, today is a great day to make that appointment. Contact us by calling our office or you can fill out this convenient online appointment request form to get started.