Our hygienist Jamie describes the differences between a “regular” cleaning and a deep cleaning. She also exposes a big secret about dentist offices across the country.
Transcription of video:
One of the biggest questions we get here in our office is, “What is the difference between a “regular” cleaning and a deep cleaning? And we wanted to make this video to help you understand the difference.
First, a “regular” cleaning, known in dental offices as a prophy, is a preventative cleaning done for the purpose of maintaining healthy gums. Healthy gums are firm, pale pink, and there is no bleeding when you brush your teeth. A regular cleaning can only be done when the gums re healthy and there is no presence of gingivitis or periodontal disease.
A deep cleaning, or what is known as scaling and root planing in most dental offices, is done when a significant amount of bacteria and tartar has built up underneath the gums. A lot of times you cannot see the bacteria or tartar with the naked eye, but it does cause the gums to become puffy, inflamed, and start to bleed.
Last time you were in a dental office, you might have noticed the dentist or hygienist calling out numbers before they started the cleaning. What these numbers are, are measurements of your gums, and it helps the dentist and hygienist to determine the health of the gums. The lower the number the better, and if you hear all threes or under, you are in great shape. When you start to hear fours, fives, and sixes, that means that the bacteria has gotten under the gums and started to create pockets between the teeth and gums, and a deep cleaning needs to be done.
Those are the biggest differences between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning, and if you have any questions about where you stand, we would be happy to answer them at your next appointment.