How Long Does Deep Teeth Cleaning Take?
Deep teeth cleaning is a periodontal treatment that removes tartar and plaque from the surfaces of the teeth and tooth roots below the gum line. This treatment involves two separate treatments: scaling, and root planing. Scaling removes accumulated plaque and tartar, and root planing resurfaces the tooth root to discourage additional plaque buildup between the gums and teeth. Because these procedures require the use of sharp tools in tight areas and rely on repeated scraping of the area, dentists use topical or local anesthetics to numb the area before beginning the dental deep cleaning treatment. Once the area is numb, the dentist will repeatedly, deliberately scrape the surfaces of each tooth until all tartar is removed and each tooth surface is restored. It is not advisable to numb the entire mouth at once, nor is it advisable to scrape and scale the entire mouth in a single procedure, which is the reason most dental deep cleaning treatments require at least two separate visits, if not four. By dividing the mouth into quadrants or halves and treating one portion at a time, dentists keep the deep cleaning treatment manageable for patients and for themselves.
On average, the treatment time for one visit for a dental deep clean is about an hour, though some serious cases take longer for each visit. Most dental deep cleans can be done with two separate visits, though some take more. At the second visit and at each subsequent visit, your dentist will evaluate the healing of the portions of the mouth that have already been treated, making sure everything looks good before continuing with treatment. You will also schedule a follow-up appointment, so that the dentist can assess the healing of your most recent procedure and evaluate the overall treatment results. At this follow-up appointment, you’ll also learn about maintenance recommendations. While a deep teeth cleaning helps to restore the oral cavity to health and discourage the progression of gum disease, the patient’s own adherence to these maintenance recommendations will play a major role in the possibility of gum disease recurring.
Home hygiene practices, which include twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, combined with routine visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings can help prevent gum disease and manage gum disease that may already be present. Regular dental cleanings are effective for removing plaque and tartar that have built up above the gum line, especially in harder-to-reach areas, but they’re not sufficient for cleaning and clearing away tartar below the gum line, which could reach as deep as the tooth roots. Scaling and root planing, the dual steps of the dental deep cleaning, are designed to remove tartar below the gum line and to prepare the teeth so that they’re more resistant to future bacterial buildup and more receptive to reattachment with newly healthy gum tissue. When gum disease is present, reducing inflammation is the first step toward reversing the disease and preventing the chaos it can cause for the mouth and teeth, and deep teeth cleaning is an effective way to do exactly that. Preventing gum disease is optimal; when it does arise, prompt treatment can make a world of difference for the long-term health of the oral cavity and integrity and stability of the teeth.