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Deep Cleaning

What's the difference between a routine dental cleaning and a deep cleaning?

Part of getting good dental care is understanding dental health terms. For example, there's a great deal of difference between a routine cleaning (Prophylaxis) and a deep cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing).

A prophylaxis is a regular cleaning, meaning it is preventive dental care, the purpose of which is to keep teeth and oral tissues in a healthy state by removing calculus, plaque, and common stains. This procedure typically is performed twice a year, but individual patient needs vary, and it may be necessary more frequently for some patients. A Registered Dental Hygienist or your dentist can provide this service. Typically, this procedure is competed in one appointment, but additional time may be required for some patients to get optimal dental care.

A deep cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing) is a therapeutic procedure intended as a component of dental care designed to avoid periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is caused by a build up of calculus, plaque, and stain on the crowns and root surfaces of teeth, can begin as localized (limited) gingival inflammation, and progress to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and the bone that supports the teeth. Left untreated, this disease progresses to the ultimate loss of teeth.

In periodontal disease, gingival tissue may detach (pull away) from teeth, and periodontal pockets form. Scaling and Root Planing is intended to provide a healthy tissue environment in which tissues re-adapt to normal tooth surfaces.

If you think you need more dental care, you may want to think about some kind of dental plan benefits to help reduce your costs. Dental discount plans or dental insurance may be options to consider if you are looking for affordable dental care. A dental discount plan is not insurance. Make sure to check the plan benefits to see what savings you could receive on routine cleanings (prophylaxis) or deep cleanings (scaling and root planning). It's also important to check on any waiting period or limitations on pre-existing conditions before you purchase a plan.


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