When You Need Deep Cleaning
In the case that your hygienist measures pockets that are 5 millimeters or greater, it is likely that your dentist will suggest that you receive a deep cleaning which is typically arranged as a separate appointment.
Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the tooth and from within the pockets between your teeth and gums. Your hygienist will use a small tool or an electronic ultrasonic instrument to scrape away any buildup on the tooth and remove it with a rinse or flossing.
After the scaling has been completed, your hygienist will then perform the root planing which involves the same tool types as scaling but focuses on the root of the tooth. By ensuring that the root is clean and free of debris or buildup, it allows the gums to naturally heal back over the roots and eliminate or reduce the pocket size.
Deep cleaning typically involves at least two appointments, but your dental office may schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that your mouth is healing and the pocket size is getting smaller or if any additional work is required.