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Differences Between Deep Cleaning And Regular Cleaning

July 31, 2023
Differences Between Deep Cleaning And Regular Cleaning

Regular teeth cleaning helps dental patients improve their oral health. At least twice annually, dentists recommend that their patients visit the office for a dental cleaning and comprehensive oral examination. During these appointments, the dentist and hygienist check for signs of emerging problems, remove plaque and tartar, and polish the teeth to a beautiful shine.


Whether you need a deep or regular dental cleaning depends on your gum health. If you have healthy gums, a twice-annual cleaning and exam should be enough to keep your smile bright. However, if you have periodontal disease, deep cleaning becomes necessary.


Deep cleaning also goes by the term of scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures. They help to control periodontal disease by removing plaque and tartar from deep pockets between the teeth and gums as well as below the gumline.


If you have existing periodontal disease, your dentist will likely recommend that you receive a deep cleaning at least three to four times per year. These extra appointments can help to keep periodontal disease in check, though they cannot completely reverse its course.

Regular Cleaning Procedures

Routine dental cleaning typically follows these steps:


During a regular dental cleaning, the hygienist first examines your teeth and gums using a small mirror. If the hygienist detects a problem, they may need to call the dentist into the room to check it.


Next, the hygienist uses a simple dental instrument called a scaler to scrape plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. The hygienist cleans around the gum line and between the teeth.

If you have a great deal of tartar buildup, the hygienist may need to scrape longer. The best way to avoid this is by brushing and flossing daily, as recommended.


Next, the hygienist uses a special gritty toothpaste on a powerful electric brush. This toothpaste cleans away any remaining plaque and tartar and removes surface stains.


The hygienist will then floss your teeth, giving you important instructions on where you can improve your home flossing technique if necessary. They will also remove any remaining plaque or food from between your teeth.


The hygienist will carefully rinse your mouth with water to completely remove all traces of toothpaste. The rinse will also prepare your teeth for fluoride treatment.


Fluoride treatments are not just for children. They can help adults avoid cavities as well. The hygienist uses a foam, gel, or varnish to apply fluoride to your teeth.

Deep Cleaning Procedures

Patients with periodontal disease need deep cleaning in addition to regular cleaning protocols. Deep dental cleaning goes further when it comes to removing plaque and tartar. The dentist or hygienist will use local anesthesia to numb your gums for this procedure and ensure comfort.


The hygienist scales the teeth using a handheld metal scaler and an ultrasonic scaling device. The hygienist takes as much time as necessary to remove every particle of plaque and tartar, especially around the gum line.


Root planing happens next. The hygienist uses special instruments to reach into the periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums and clean below the gumline. After cleaning the root surface, the hygienist smooths it to help the healthy gum tissue adhere.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

To discover whether you may be a candidate for deep cleaning in addition to standard dental cleaning, please review the following possible symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Altered dental bite
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen, red gums
  • Bleeding or tender gums

Consequences of Uncontrolled Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a prevailing cause of tooth loss. When the gums recede due to constant inflammation and infection, the bone around the teeth begins to deteriorate, causing the teeth to loosen. Researchers also link gum disease to many systemic health problems, including stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and preterm birth.

Regular Vs. Deep Cleaning Frequency

Beginning in infancy, each patient should receive a standard cleaning at least twice a year. Periodontal patients must stay on a regular schedule for deep cleaning visits, usually three to four times yearly.

Call Oakdale Dental

Teeth cleaning can improve your dental health and brighten your smile. Please call our Holyoke, MA, office at 413-536-1782 to schedule an appointment for a cleaning, and we will advise you whether you need periodontal care as well.


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Oakdale Dental Associates
1820 Northampton Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Tel: 413-536-1782 | Fax: 413-532-1400
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Tuesday | 8:00am - 5:00pm
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1820 Northampton Street Holyoke, MA 01040
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