Regular Cleanings Vs. Deep Cleanings: What’s The Difference?

If you recently had a dental appointment and you were told that you needed a deep cleaning, you may be wondering what the differences are between a standard cleaning and this more extensive treatment. At Scarsdale Smiles, we want every patient to be informed about their dental health and any reasons we would suggest a deep cleaning. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between standard and deep cleanings:

Regular Cleanings Are Recommended For All Patients

Regular teeth cleanings should be performed every six months as part of a preventive oral exam and checkup. These routine cleanings will remove the buildup of plaque and bacteria from your teeth and ensure that Dr. Alex Cox is able to check your teeth more effectively.

Your regular teeth cleaning will usually consist of 3 steps performed by a dental hygienist at Scarsdale Smiles. After a brief exam to ensure your mouth is healthy enough for a cleaning, your hygienist will remove plaque from your teeth using specialized dental tools. Then, your teeth will be buffed and polished with a high-powered brush and a gritty toothpaste. Finally, your hygienist will professionally floss your teeth to remove any further debris. 

Once your cleaning is complete, Dr. Cox will come into the exam room to take a deep look at your teeth and your oral health. He will discuss any potential issues with you, so that you can schedule follow-up treatments, if necessary.

Deep Cleanings Are Only Required If You Have Gum Disease 

In contrast to regular cleanings, which are recommended for every patient at Scarsdale Smiles, deep cleanings (also called “scaling & root planing”) are only needed if you have periodontal (gum) disease. If your mouth is healthy and free of gum disease, there is no reason for you to get a deep cleaning, even if you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time.

As the name may suggest, this method of teeth cleaning is a bit more extensive and complex than a standard cleaning. It’s done over two appointments, with half of your mouth cleaned at each time. 

Dr. Cox will numb your mouth, then use dental tools to remove bacteria-filled plaque and tartar away from between your teeth and underneath your gums. Then, he will smooth out the roots of your teeth to remove the “pockets” where bacteria tend to collect, ensuring that your gums and teeth are clean. 

This treatment may need to be repeated multiple times and accompanied with antibiotics to eliminate gum disease. Depending on the extent of your gum disease, you may also need to continue to get regular three or six-month deep cleanings 

Need Preventive Dental Care In Scarsdale? Come To Scarsdale Smiles Today! 

At Scarsdale Smiles, Dr. Alex Cox specializes in preventive dental care. Whether you’re new to the area or it has been more than six months since your last checkup, we can help you get the care you need. To get started and schedule your appointment, just give us a call at (914) 723-1186, or stop by our office at 2 Overhill Road, Suite 230, Scarsdale, NY 10583. We’re always accepting new patients, and we hope to see you soon.