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What is the difference between a deep cleaning and a routine cleaning?

Deep cleanings can include cleaning the teeth, gum line, and sides of the teeth like a regular dental cleaning, but there is also a lot of focus placed on cleaning the gums. Deep cleanings require going below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar that has accumulated in the gum pockets. Once these pockets have been thoroughly cleaned, the roots of the teeth must be smoothed out to help the gums reattach to the front of the teeth. We may also apply an antibiotic in the gum pockets to help kill bacteria for months afterward.

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Is it painful to get a deep cleaning at the dentist?

Deep cleanings are more invasive than routine dental cleanings, so a local anesthetic is used to completely numb the gums and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. We also divide up deep cleanings into more than one appointment to carefully clean different sections of the gums. This is more convenient for the patient, as they won’t have to sit in the dental chair for hours at a time, and it helps to keep any gum soreness that occurs afterward to a minimum. You may feel some pressure during the deep cleaning, but it shouldn’t be painful.

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Is a deep cleaning really necessary?

Removing the built-up plaque and tartar from the gum pockets and treating the gum infection is the only way to prevent periodontal disease from progressing and causing further issues. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and an increased risk for developing heart disease and diabetes. Whether your periodontal disease is mild, moderate, or severe, scheduling regular deep cleanings is one of the best ways to avoid losing teeth and to keep your smile as clean and healthy as possible.

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