Deep Cleaning

A deep cleaning is actually a specific procedure performed by your dentist or dental hygienist  to treat gum and periodontal disease.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing are two different procedures that are part of a deep cleaning. Dentist or hygienist use scaling to remove plaque and tartar, while planing is used to smooth out tooth roots, making it less likely for plaque to accumulate on the roots in the future, according to the American Dental Association.

The Procedure

Your dentist or hygienist may use local anesthetic to numb your gums and mouth before the deep cleaning begins. They use hand instruments called scalers and air-powered or electric ultrasonic instruments to remove plaque. Ultrasonic cleaners work by forcing plaque and tartar off the teeth with vibration. Any debris remaining around the teeth is removed by the cleaners; water irrigation system. The Ultrasonic instruments are usually used first to remove large deposits of plaque and tartar from the roots and crowns of teeth. After using ultrasonic instruments, your dentist will clean away any remaining tartar and plaque with the scaler.


Teeth and gums may feel sore after the procedure. Both bleeding and tooth sensitivity may occur during the recovery period. Your dentist may recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve any lingering pain from the procedure. In some cases, dentists prescribe prescription medication to control pain and prevent infection. Antiseptic mouth rinses can be helpful if gums are sore.

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