MICHAEL MAZAHERI, DDS
What is deep cleaning?
Scaling and root planing also known as "deep cleaning" is a thorough dental cleaning of tooth root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar (calculus) from around teeth and periodontal pockets in the gums, and to smooth the teeth roots to remove bacterial toxins.
Scaling and root planing, along with proper daily brushing and flossing, is effective in treating the early stages of gum disease. Scaling and root planing is a cost effective, minimally invasive, and non-surgical way to prevent and/or treat a serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder, more easily corrected form of gum disease; periodontitis is a more serious form that progresses over a longer time.
Periodontal disease involves inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding oral tissues. The main cause of gum disease, bacterial plaque (a sticky, colorless film that forms on teeth) hardens into a rough, porous substance that releases toxins. These toxins cause the gum fibers holding the teeth firmly in place to loosen and break down, creating periodontal pockets that can become filled with more bacteria and toxins. If left untreated, the pockets continue to deepen and the bone securing the teeth will be destroyed, eventually causing tooth loss.
During the initial examination, Dr. Mazaheri will evaluate any plaque buildup below the gum and examine your gums for possible periodontal problems. Utilizing an instrument called a periodontal probe, the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums, called the pocket) will be measured. At the edge of the gumline, healthy gum tissue forms a sulcus; a shallow, v-shaped groove between the tooth and gums. Normal pocket depth is 3 mm or less. With periodontal diseases, the space widens, creating a deeper pocket of more than 3 mm, resulting in harmful plaque buildup that cannot be cleaned without professional dental treatment.
Scaling and root planing is performed when pockets are greater than 3 mm. Scaling removes plaque and tartar above and below the gumline. Depending on the amount of tartar and plaque buildup, and your level of tooth sensitivity, tooth scaling may prove painful; a numbing gel or anesthetic injection typically will be administered to the area to lessen discomfort. For our nervous patients we also have Nitrous Oxide dental sedation available to help make the visit more comfortable in Gilbert .
Once numbing or anesthesia is achieved, we will use an instrument called a dental curret, and utilize an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar to the base of each periodontal pocket. The tooth surfaces then are planed – or smoothed – which prevents plaque from accumulating along root surfaces and allows gum tissue to heal and re-attach to the root surface.
At our office we typically root plane the upper and lower quadrants on one side of the mouth at one appointment, and the upper and lower quadrants of the other side are done at second appointment. Dr. Mazaheri may administer local antibiotics, antimicrobials and other medications directly into the periodontal pockets to help control infection or pain, as well as encourage faster healing.
Early stage gum disease treatment include periodontal maintenance at three-month intervals, where the gums are evaluated for healing and teeth are scaled and polished. At our dentist gilbert az office dental lasers are sometimes used along with scaling and root planning to promote faster healing. Lasers in dentistry have shown excellent results and Dr. Mazaheri uses lasers regularly. Use of electric tooth brush such as the sonicare has also shown to promote faster healing in periodontal disease.
If you think you might have periodontal disease or need treatment please feel free to give us a call at 480-633-1481 for a consultation.