Deep Teeth Cleaning vs. Regular Teeth Cleaning

Dentist Cleaning Patient Teeth

Maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being. We know that the systemic link to your overall health is directly correlated with healthy teeth and gums. Regular visits to Forcioli Family Dentistry play a crucial role in keeping your teeth healthy and cavity-free. Two common procedures we may perform when you visit are dental prophylaxis and deep teeth cleaning. Because both are types of teeth cleaning, patients sometimes confuse the two. While both aim to promote oral health, they serve different specific purposes.

Regular Teeth Cleaning (Prophylaxis)

Dental prophylaxis is what most people undergo at their (hopefully!) twice-yearly dental checkup. Dr. Forcioli or one of our highly trained dental hygienists removes plaque and tartar buildup from the surfaces of the teeth and along the gumline using specialized instruments. They also polish the teeth to remove surface stains and create a smoother surface, making it harder for plaque to accumulate. The plaque forms a biofilm every 24 hours where harmful bacteria can congregate and eventually lead to gum disease if not removed.

The primary goal of dental prophylaxis is to prevent the progression of dental issues by removing the bacterial buildup that can lead to decay and gum disease. It is a relatively simple and noninvasive procedure usually completed in a single visit to our office. Dental prophylaxis is an essential component of maintaining good oral health. It should be part of everyone’s regular dental care routine.

Deep Teeth Cleaning

Deep teeth cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a more intensive procedure designed to treat gum disease in its early stages (gingivitis) or as a therapeutic measure for more advanced periodontal disease. Unlike dental prophylaxis, which focuses on removing superficial plaque and tartar above and at the gumline, deep teeth cleaning targets the buildup of bacteria and tartar beneath the gumline. As the bacteria forms on the teeth and gums the makeup of the bacteria changes from mostly gram-positive bacteria to gram-negative (without oxygen) bacteria which attempt to invade deeper into the mouth.

During a deep teeth cleaning procedure, we use specialized instruments to remove plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins from the surfaces of the teeth roots and the pockets of the gums. This process, known as scaling, is followed by root planing, which involves smoothing out the rough surfaces of the tooth roots to promote gum reattachment and discourage further bacterial buildup.

Deep teeth cleaning is a more involved procedure than dental prophylaxis. Depending on the severity of the gum disease, it may require multiple visits to complete. Before the procedure starts we use a local anesthetic (Lidocaine formerly known as Novocain) to numb the gums for your comfort during the process. Following deep teeth cleaning, we advise using antibacterial mouthwash or prescribed antibiotics to help control infection and promote healing.

Critical Differences Between Regular Teeth Cleaning and Deep Teeth Cleaning

Purpose: Regular teeth cleaning is primarily preventive, focusing on maintaining oral health and preventing future problems, while deep teeth cleaning is therapeutic, targeting existing periodontal gum disease and preventing its progression.

The extent of Cleaning: Dental prophylaxis removes surface plaque and tartar, while deep teeth cleaning addresses buildup beneath the gum line and within gum pockets.

Procedure Complexity: Deep teeth cleaning is more involved and may require multiple visits and local anesthetics, whereas dental prophylaxis is typically completed in a single visit without needing anesthesia.

Frequency: Dental prophylaxis is recommended every six months for individuals with healthy gums, while the frequency of deep teeth cleaning depends on the severity of gum disease and the individual’s oral health needs. Usually post-operative visits following deep cleanings are every 3-4 months for maintenance.

Both dental prophylaxis and deep teeth cleaning are essential for maintaining good oral health. While dental prophylaxis focuses on preventive care and routine maintenance, deep teeth cleaning is necessary for treating gum disease and preventing its harmful progression. Dr. Forcioli and the team can advise you on which type of dental cleaning is best for your oral health needs. Early intervention and proactive dental care are vital to achieving a healthy and beautiful smile.

If you have not had your teeth professionally cleaned in the last six months, it is time to call Lombard IL Cosmetic Dentistry Office Phone Number 630-627-1495 and make an appointment.