A routine dental cleaning is a relatively quick procedure. The cleaner your teeth are, the less time it tends to take because there is less plaque and calculus to remove. But some patients may need a deep teeth cleaning, which can take a bit longer. How long does a deep teeth cleaning take? Here’s what you can expect.
What is a Deep Teeth Cleaning?
A deep cleaning goes beyond what a regular cleaning entails. The objective is to remove plaque (a sticky film of food residue and bacteria) and calculus (hardened plaque) from the surface of the teeth and along the gum line. It may also involve a deep cleaning below the gum line. Dentists and hygienists use special tools to clean the teeth that can remove calculus without harming the enamel.
How Long Does a Deep Teeth Cleaning Take?
A regular teeth cleaning may take 30 minutes or less to complete. A deep cleaning can take anywhere from an hour to 2 hours depending on the extent of the cleaning that needs to be done. The longer amount of time that has passed since your last cleaning could affect the length of a deep cleaning, making it take longer to remove all of the plaque and calculus that has built up over time. The longer the plaque remains on your teeth, the harder it becomes to remove.
What Does a Deep Cleaning Entail?
A deep teeth cleaning typically involves two procedures: scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of removing plaque and calculus from the surface of the teeth and from the roots of the teeth under the gums. Root planing is the next step, which involves smoothing the surface of the roots of the teeth to allow the gum tissue to attach without spaces or pockets in between. This prevents plaque from getting under the gum line in the future.
Why Do I Need a Deep Teeth Cleaning?
Plaque and calculus can cause tooth decay and/or gum disease when it is left on the teeth over time. Bacteria contained in plaque can eat away the enamel of your teeth and infect your gum tissue. A deep teeth cleaning may be done to prevent gum disease or to treat it. Removing the source of the bacteria allows the gum tissue to heal itself. Your dentist may also apply an antibiotic to help your body fight the infection.
There are a few reasons you may require a deep cleaning. If you’ve gone many months or years without a professional teeth cleaning, you are more likely to need a deep cleaning. If you eat a high sugar diet you are more likely to develop a higher concentration of plaque on your teeth. Poor oral hygiene habits can also contribute to the need for a deep teeth cleaning.
How Often is a Deep Cleaning Needed?
Once you have had a deep teeth cleaning, you may require more frequent cleaning for a period of time. Often referred to as periodontal maintenance, your dentist may ask you to come in every three months to have another cleaning until the gum tissue is completely healed and gum disease doesn’t seem to be coming back.
How Can I Prevent the Need for Deep Teeth Cleaning?
There are a few ways to avoid a deep teeth cleaning. Practice good oral hygiene habits at home, meaning brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day. If you are prone to developing gum disease, it may be best to brush your teeth after every meal. Another way to avoid the need for a deep cleaning is to go to the dentist every 6 months for a regular cleaning. Twice yearly professional teeth cleaning can keep plaque from hardening into calculus.
Belmont Family Dentistry Provides Deep Teeth Cleaning
Has it been a while since your last dental cleaning? Now is the time to schedule a cleaning with Belmont Family Dentistry. We can provide you with the deep cleaning you need and help you maintain your teeth with regular cleanings. We will help you maintain a regular schedule for dental appointments to keep your teeth and gums healthy.