Everything you need to know about Deep Cleaning or Scaling
What is deep cleaning or scaling?
More often than not, we do not tend to give as much importance to our dental health as we should. As a result of this, we make ourselves vulnerable to a plethora of health issues starting with periodontitis or gum disease. In this case, your dentist may suggest you to get your tooth cleaned by a hygienist.
Tooth cleaning is a procedure where your dentist or hygienist cleans the surface of your teeth to remove plaque or food particles from them. Scaling or deep cleaning, however, is a much deeper procedure. If you are suffering from gum disease it is likely that your dentist would want to administer scaling which involves deep cleaning your teeth which goes up to your gumline.
Minute food particles and plaque is removed from not just the surface but also from the grooves and pits of your teeth and also the gum. This is a common procedure in people with gum disease and it is more complex and fool-proof than general cleaning.
Why is it necessary?
There are a number of causes for periodontitis or gum disease, including, excessive smoking, drinking, an unhealthy lifestyle, poor eating habits, poor oral hygiene, stress, or even underlying conditions like diabetes, genetic disease etc. These may give rise to signs like tender gum, gum bleeding, decay, tooth abscess and so on.
And you may be surprised to know that periodontitis is not just about your dental or oral health, the bacteria in your mouth keeps flushing down to your body and can give rise to other health issues like heart problems, digestive problems, and it also makes it harder to control diabetes. Thus, there is a direct connection between your oral health and your overall health.
Scaling can help you curb the gum disease in its early stages, get rid of the bacteria and abscess in your mouth, hence, preventing any oral or other disease.
Here are some signs that would help you know that it’s time to get your teeth deep cleaned.
What does the procedure involve?
There are two basic ways to execute scaling; one with handheld instruments and the other with an ultrasonic instrument. If your dentist uses handheld instruments they will reach your tooth’s surface below the gumline with the help of a thin instrument called the Scaler and scrape the plaque away from places where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Otherwise, they can use the ultrasonic instrument which features a metal tip combined with a water spray. The metal tip vibrates and chips the tartar away and the cool water sprayed into your mouth flushes it out.
Typically, this procedure is followed by another which is called Root Planing. It is a similar procedure and it addresses the surface of your tooth’s root. It smooths the surface out so the gum can re-attach properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Scaling can be uncomfortable, especially, if you have sensitive teeth or gum. Your dentist may administer a local anesthetic before starting the process.
You might feel soreness or sensitivity in your mouth after the process; in this case, your dentist might prescribe you desensitizing toothpaste. Some patients also experience bleeding or swelling, talk to your dentist about it. And do not forget to brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent the re-formation of plaque.
Normally, scaling procedure is executed in quadrants; upper right, lower right, upper left, lower left. So, the prices range from $180 to $300 per quadrant but it may also differ as per your location. The dental insurance plans cover 50-80% of the cost, so this procedure could be considered reasonable.