Regular cleaning is designed for maintaining healthy gums when there is a small, shallow space between the gums and teeth. The procedure revolves around cleaning that space thoroughly by eliminating bacteria and tartar. If a person follows a good flossing and brushing regime, the tartar and bacteria build-up is minimal. Healthy gums have a pinkish color and no or little bleeding takes place during the cleaning process.
Deep cleaning (root planning and scaling) is required when there are larger amounts of bacteria or tartar under the gums. This happens when there are deeper spaces between the teeth and gums called pockets. Pockets develop when we do not have our teeth professionally cleaned for a long time. They also occur if you do not floss or brush on a regular basis.
Moreover, other health concerns also put a person at risk for developing pockets. Pockets measuring a certain depth are referred to as periodontal or gum disease. The initial step is to improve the condition is by getting a deep cleaning to clear the pockets of the tartar and bacteria build-up. Sometimes, numbing of gum and teeth or tissue may be needed to effectively remove tartar buildup below the gum line of a patient.
Why Your Dentist May Choose Regular Cleaning?
Your dentist will determine if you need deep cleaning or just regular cleaning. He does the assessment by measuring the depth of the space between your gums and teeth. You may hear your dentist calling out numbers for gum measurements. If the number is under 4, your dentist may opt for regular cleaning. In case, the number is 4 and above, he may recommend deep cleaning to improve the condition of your teeth and gums.
So, as you can see, your dentist does have defined criteria for deciding whether you should undergo deep cleaning or regular cleaning.