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Deep Cleaning Your Teeth | Everything You Need To Know

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Deep Cleaning Your Teeth: When to Do It

Deep cleaning is a type of dental procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar from your teeth and below the gum line. Plaque and tartar can build up over time and lead to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, deep cleaning is often recommended for people with periodontal disease, an infection of the gums.

Maintaining optimal oral health goes beyond regular brushing and flossing; sometimes, your teeth need a more intensive approach to ensure they stay in top shape. Deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a professional dental procedure that plays a crucial role in preventing and treating gum disease. In this blog, we’ll delve into the importance of deep cleaning and the transformative benefits it can bring to your oral wellness.

Understanding Deep Cleaning:

There are two types of deep cleaning procedures: scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from your teeth. Root planing is the process of eliminating plaque and tartar from below the gum line.

  1. Targeting Below the Gum Line:
    • Deep cleaning is designed to reach areas not accessible through regular brushing or standard dental cleanings. It focuses on removing plaque and tartar that accumulate below the gum line, where harmful bacteria thrive.
  2. Scaling:
    • Scaling is usually done with a special instrument called a scaler. The scaler is used to scrape the plaque and tartar off your teeth. Scaling can be done with a manual scaler or an electric scaler.
  3. Root Planing:
    • Root planing is usually done with a special instrument called a periodontal curette. The curette scrapes the plaque and tartar off your teeth and from below the gum line. Root planing is usually done in two visits. The first visit is to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth. The second visit is to remove the plaque and tartar from below the gum line.

Symptoms Of Gum Disease

There are some symptoms of gum disease, including:

  • Bad breath that does not go away with brushing or flossing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

Teeth Whitening

Benefits of Deep Cleaning:

  1. Gum Disease Prevention:
    • Deep cleaning is a proactive measure against gum disease. By eliminating bacterial buildup, it helps prevent the development and progression of periodontal issues.
  2. Halting Progression:
    • For those already experiencing early-stage gum disease (gingivitis), deep cleaning can halt its progression, preventing further damage to the gums and supporting tissues.
  3. Reducing Gum Inflammation:
    • Inflamed gums can be uncomfortable and are an early sign of potential issues. Deep cleaning addresses this inflammation, promoting gum health and overall comfort.
  4. Enhancing Oral Hygiene:
    • Deep cleaning sets the stage for improved oral hygiene. With a thorough foundation, patients can maintain better at-home practices to sustain their dental health.
  5. Preventing Tooth Loss:
    • By addressing gum disease and bacterial infection, deep cleaning contributes to preventing tooth loss, preserving the natural structure of your smile.

Why Might You Need Deep Cleaning?

Common reasons for recommending deep cleaning include:

  • Gum Disease: Deep cleaning is often prescribed for individuals with gingivitis (early stage) or periodontitis (advanced stage) to address infection and prevent further damage.
  • Excessive Plaque and Tartar: When regular dental cleanings are insufficient in controlling plaque and tartar buildup, deep cleaning becomes necessary to reach areas below the gum line.
  • Pockets Forming Around Teeth: The presence of pockets between the teeth and gums indicates gum disease. Deep cleaning helps reduce pocket depth and promote gum reattachment.

The Deep Cleaning Process:

  • Assessment: Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination, often including X-rays, to assess the extent of gum disease and determine the need for deep cleaning.
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is typically administered to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
  • Scaling: The dental professional uses specialised tools to carefully remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and below the gum line.
  • Root Planing: The roots of the teeth are smoothed out to eliminate rough areas where bacteria may accumulate. This promotes gum reattachment and reduces the risk of future infection.

What to Expect During and After Deep Cleaning:

  • During the Procedure:
    • Your dentist or dental hygienist will carefully scale and plane the tooth surfaces below the gum line. Local anesthesia may be used to ensure your comfort throughout the process.
  • After the Procedure:
    • You may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity following the deep cleaning, but this is typically temporary. Your dentist will provide post-treatment care instructions, including tips for managing any sensitivity.

Importance of Using High-Quality Instruments in Deep Cleaning Procedures

Modern dental instruments and machines are essential for a successful procedure. When you visit the dentist, they should be able to see all of your teeth with ease using high-quality equipment that will ensure precision during procedures like deep cleaning.

An endoscope is a long, thin tube with a tiny camera at the end. The endoscope magnifies the inside of your mouth so your dentist can see any areas of concern more clearly. This helps the dentist to provide a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

A dental laser is another essential tool your dentist may use during a deep cleaning procedure. A dental laser is a high-powered beam of light that can be used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Dental lasers are very precise and can be used to target specific areas of your mouth without damaging the surrounding tissue.


Signs that may indicate the need for deep cleaning include persistent bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and visible tartar buildup. Your dentist will assess your oral health and recommend deep cleaning if necessary.

Most people can get deep cleaning done for their teeth, although it is typically recommended for people with gum disease or at a high risk of developing it. Your dentist or hygienist will numb your gums and use special tools to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Deep cleanings are usually done in two visits and may require additional maintenance cleanings after that.

The duration of deep cleaning depends on the extent of plaque and tartar buildup and the severity of gum disease. Generally, it may take one or more appointments, with each session lasting around 45 minutes to an hour.

It’s common to experience some mild sensitivity or soreness after deep cleaning. This usually subsides within a few days. Your dentist will provide post-treatment care instructions, including tips for managing any discomfort.

Depending on the severity of your gum disease, your dentist may recommend follow-up appointments for ongoing monitoring. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home is crucial to prevent further issues.

Yes, deep cleaning is instrumental in preventing tooth loss by addressing gum disease and eliminating the bacterial factors that contribute to tooth and bone loss. It helps maintain the structural integrity of your teeth

Regular professional dental cleanings, coupled with diligent at-home oral hygiene practices, can help prevent the need for deep cleaning. However, if gum disease is present, deep cleaning is often the most effective solution.

Following your dentist’s post-treatment care instructions, maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine at home, and attending regular dental check-ups are essential for sustaining good oral health after deep cleaning. Your dentist may also recommend additional preventive measures based on your specific needs.

Root planing and scaling vary in price according to the dentist’s fee schedule, but on average, the cost of these procedures is about AUD 300.00 – $500.00 per session.

It’s essential to have a regular dental check-up every 6 months, and if you have any signs of gum disease (e.g., redness, swelling, bleeding), then it’s best to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Gum disease is a common problem that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital in preventing more severe problems down the road.

The short answer is that most people need deep teeth cleaning (also called scaling and root planing) every two to four years. However, the frequency with which you need this procedure depends on various factors, including your overall oral health, your gum tissue health, and whether you have any areas of dental decay or tartar buildup.

Some people who are at high risk for gum disease may need deep teeth cleaning more often than others. For example, people with periodontitis (advanced gum disease) may need the procedure done every three to six months. And people with severe tartar buildup may need to have it done more frequently.

Most people do not find scaling and root planing to be painful. However, some people may experience some discomfort during the procedure. If you have sensitive teeth, your dental care provider may give you local anaesthesia to numb the area before starting the process.

If you do not get a deep cleaning when your dentist recommends it, the plaque and tartar will continue to build up on your teeth and gums. This can lead to more severe problems such as gum disease, bone loss, and tooth loss. But on the other hand, ignoring it can lead to serious dental issues like gum disease. So, if your dentist suggests you get a deep cleaning, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

If you have gum disease, it is essential to treat it early. Gum disease can be treated with a deep cleaning procedure, antibiotics, and/or surgery. If you feel you have gum disease, it is best to see our dentist, who can examine your mouth and confirm the same. If needed, our dentist will carry out deep cleaning of your teeth to prevent the problems from increasing in future. Book an appointment with us by calling (03) 9646 2577 or emailing at [email protected].


If you’re concerned about your oral health or suspect the need for deep cleaning, consult with your dentist. They can assess your specific condition, recommend an appropriate treatment plan, and guide you on the path to optimal oral wellness.

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