How Long Does It Take to Do a Deep Cleaning on Gums?

Find out how long it takes for deep cleaning on gums and what is involved in this process. Learn about gum disease and how it affects your oral health.

How Long Does It Take to Do a Deep Cleaning on Gums?

Gum disease that has advanced beyond the early stages is known as periodontitis, which affects the bones and tissues that hold the teeth in place. The gums may recede and pockets may form between the teeth and the gums. This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on the severity of the gum disease. You may only need one one-hour office visit or you may need a two-hour appointment; some patients need multiple appointments because it's best to examine one quadrant of the mouth at a time.

When you come in for a consultation, we can let you know what to expect. The deep teeth cleaning process usually requires more than one visit. Each appointment will last at least one hour and could last up to four hours. If you have a serious infection, you may need additional treatment in the form of an antibiotic gel that is placed directly in the pouch between your teeth and gums.

A deep dental cleaning should last between 1 and 4 hours. First, the hygienist will numb you by injecting you with a local anesthetic. Dentists recommend deep dental cleaning (also known as tooth scraping and root smoothing) for patients who have gum disease when tartar builds up in the pockets between the teeth and gums and, in some cases, up to the roots of the teeth. In general, dental insurance will then cover 4 normal cleanings each year, known as “periodic maintenance”.To prevent plaque and tartar buildup, professional dental cleaning is recommended every six months.

As you continue to work to stop gum disease, your periodontist may prescribe regular deep dental cleanings like this one (sometimes every 3 months). It's essential to treat periodontitis as soon as your dentist tells you to, which is just one of the reasons why it's important for everyone to have their teeth cleaned regularly every 6 months. If your dentist determines that deep cleaning is necessary, regular cleaning won't help you regain proper oral health. Gingivitis can generally be treated without deep cleaning, but periodontitis and advanced periodontitis will require deep dental cleaning. This type of dental cleaning procedure for patients with periodontitis is also slightly more likely to cause tooth sensitivity.

This procedure, often referred to as SRP, goes beyond standard cleaning to smooth and clean the surface of the roots below inflamed gums with a pocket depth greater than 3 mm.