What’s The Difference Between A Regular Tooth Cleaning Vs Deep Cleaning

Do You Need A Regular Cleaning or Something Deeper?

Not all dental cleanings are created equal. When you have your six-month dental checkups, you’ll have a routine cleaning to remove tartar and plaque buildup. It usually doesn’t take very long and it is practically painless. Sometimes we may notice that everything isn’t how it should be with the health of your gums, and that’s when we need to do a more thorough deep cleaning.

A deep cleaning is a non-surgical procedure that usually consists of these two different steps:


planing and scaling at Las Vegas Periodontist
Root Planing and Scaling

Subgingival Scaling

A subgingival scaling is called this because it concentrates on cleaning the tooth’s surface below the gumline. An ultrasonic scaler is used to scrape away the infection-causing plaque and bacteria from the inside of the gum pockets. This may be performed under local anesthetic to aid in the patient’s comfort.


Root Planing

Following the scaling step, the root surfaces are smoothed out to encourage the regrowth of gum tissue and inhibit plaque formation.


For many patients with gum disease, subgingival scaling and root planing are all that is required to heal the infection and reverse the damage that it caused. In some cases, we may also insert antibiotic fibers in the gum pockets to accelerate the healing process.

Similar to other non-surgical procedures, you may experience some mild discomfort and your teeth may be temporarily sensitive to hot and cold following a deep cleaning. If necessary, you may use over-the-counter painkillers to manage the pain and rinse with salt water or a prescription mouthwash.

If your dentist is recommending a deep cleaning for treatment of deep pockets, make sure you trust your gums to the board-certified periodontists at Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants. Periodontists are gum specialists, so you can be sure that your mouth is getting the best care possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.