Difference Between Routine & Deep Dental Cleaning | Kirkland Premier Dentistry
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Difference Between Routine & Deep Dental Cleaning

September 20, 2021


It is important to regularly brush, floss, and visit a dentist twice a year for routine dental cleanings.

Dental hygiene is of paramount importance when it comes to fighting bad breath and preventing gum disease.

Most people think of teeth when they hear about oral health but gums play a vital role in oral health too.

We all know the importance of having routine dental cleanings to prevent both cavities and gum disease.

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, increases the chance of developing heart disease by 20%. Thus your gum health is directly related to your overall well-being.

Most people have avoided going to the dentist for routine examinations and cleanings during COVID.

If you have also not seen a dentist for a while, there is a fair chance that your teeth might need a deep cleaning.

While most people think regular teeth cleanings & deep cleaning teeth are the same, there is a considerable difference between them both.

It Is advised to have routine cleaning every six months and a much deeper cleaning is for people with moderate to advanced gum disease. 

You might need a deep cleaning if you have bleeding gums, receding gums, and loose teeth.

Difference Between Routine & Deep Dental Cleaning

The primary difference between regular dental cleaning and deep dental cleaning is that the former is not as extensive as the latter.

Routine Dental Cleaning 

A dental procedure that involves cleaning the teeth in between the gums to the roots below the gum line is called Dental cleaning.

It is usually advised for patients with a build-up of tartar in the exterior and roots of the teeth, resulting in bacterial infections of the gums.

An ultrasonic device is used to remove plaque from the teeth’ surface.

The main purpose of regular cleaning is to maintain the cleanliness of the teeth, prevent cavities to keep off gum diseases and treat very mild forms of the disease called gingivitis.

Routine cleanings also give your dentist a chance for a regular checkup, examining your teeth, performing an oral cancer screening, and taking X-rays if needed.

A routine tooth cleaning every six months also helps keep bad breath at bay.

The tartar removed is not as invasive to the gums and is removed using a scaler. But, if tartar build-up becomes too much, it can be removed only through deep dentist teeth cleaning.

Also Read: Tips to Find An Emergency Dentist

Deep Dental Cleaning

Deep dental cleaning, also known as Root planing and scaling is essential when there is a substantial amount of bacteria & tartar buildup on the surfaces of your teeth.

As the pockets form from gum disease, the bacteria and tartar begin to fill these pockets. 

The disease-causing bacteria hide in hard tartar deposits on the surfaces of your teeth, multiply and grow, to release toxins that can irritate your gums.

Infections around the lower part of your tooth can weaken the roots, resulting in periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss.

Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss among adults in the U.S.

These sessions are quite rigorous and sometimes require more than a single visit, unlike regular cleaning.

The cleaning required is extensive, and the dentist has to monitor the teeth and gums carefully to assess the success.

Some people who have sensitive teeth or have periodontal disease may need multiple sessions.

The repeated rubbing motion applied on the roots to remove tough spots that promote gum infections by trapping bacteria is called Root Planning.

The dentist smooths (or planes) the surfaces of your tooth roots to make it harder for bacteria to stick to them.

It is important to maintain clean and healthy gums and encourage the reattachment of gums to the teeth.

Red and swollen gums may indicate infection. A special tool is used to clean deep into the pockets to make sure that tartar & plaque are completely removed to discourage bacteria.

Deep dental cleaning helps in removing bacteria below the gum line and around the roots to prevent gum disease from advancing and causing tooth loss.

Generally in the early stages of gum disease, damage can be reversed with a professional deep cleaning. It is considered an extremely effective non-surgical procedure for treating gum disease. 

Sometimes, an antibiotic gel needs to be applied during the cleaning to kill germs that are difficult to reach. A special antibiotic mouth rinse might be prescribed too.

Occasionally a follow-up visit may be needed to monitor the health of the teeth and gums, primarily if pockets have formed.

Deep cleaning can help reverse the progression of the periodontal disease, and many patients see results within three months. 

Pain & Side Effects

You may experience some discomfort in teeth scaling and root planning, so your doctor will give you a topical or local anesthetic to numb your gums.

You can experience some Pain and sensitivity after deep cleaning but it’s minimal and only lasts for about 5 to 7 days, but for extensive cases, this may extend to a few weeks and is easily manageable. 

Over-the-counter pain medications or rinsing with warm salt water can reduce inflammation.

Regular brushing with a soft brush and flossing promotes healing and lessens further gum inflammation.



Regular Brushing cannot remove Plaque and Tartar as regular and good as your at-home oral hygiene routine may be, your teeth will still accumulate plaque and tartar over time.

This is exactly why it is important to have regular cleanings every six months. Maintain great dental habits at all times by visiting Kirkland Premier Dentistry every 6 months for routine cleanings and examinations.

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