How Long Does a Deep Gum Cleaning Take?

A deep dental cleaning is a more complex type of dental cleaning than what is done during a routine dental exam and cleaning. It requires cleaning below the gum line to remove tartar and plaque. Learn how long it takes and why it's important.

How Long Does a Deep Gum Cleaning Take?

A deep dental cleaning is a more complex type of dental cleaning than what is done during a routine dental exam and cleaning. It requires cleaning below the gum line to remove tartar and plaque, which if left untreated, can cause bacterial growth and gum disease. In most cases, a deep clean will require two visits to clean both sides of the mouth. The entire process of deep teeth cleaning can take between 1.5 and 4 hours, depending on the severity of the infection and the patient's comfort level.

The first step of the procedure is to numb the patient by injecting them with a local anesthetic. After that, the hygienist will begin by removing plaque and tartar from the teeth. If bacteria have invaded below the gum line, a thorough dental cleaning is necessary to restore gum health. A deep cleaning can be done in one office visit, but it often depends on the patient's comfort level. If the pockets are deeper than can be treated with standard cleaning and good home care, a deep cleaning is needed to eliminate the infection and promote healing.

This type of dental cleaning procedure for patients with periodontitis is also slightly more likely to cause tooth sensitivity. As you continue to work to stop gum disease, your periodontist may prescribe regular deep dental cleanings like this one (sometimes every 3 months).In general, dental insurance will cover 4 normal cleanings each year, known as “periodic maintenance”. It is vital to treat periodontitis as soon as the dentist indicates, which is just one of the reasons why it is important for all individuals to have regular dental cleanings every 6 months.