When it comes to dental treatments, there is a difference between a scale and polish and a deep clean. A scale and polish is a non-invasive treatment that removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. On the other hand, deep cleaning, also known as root scaling or root scraping and smoothing, is an invasive procedure that removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots. It is usually done in two or more visits and can last up to two hours.
Regular cleaning focuses on removing plaque from the gum line and polishing the outer surface of the teeth. Deep cleaning, however, involves removing bacterial colonies and tartar from the roots of the teeth. It is recommended for patients who have gum disease when tartar builds up in the pockets between the teeth and gums, and sometimes even up to the roots of the teeth. Your dentist will be able to determine if you need regular cleaning or deep cleaning.
If your gums are red and inflamed, it may indicate that you need a thorough dental cleaning. After a deep dental cleaning, you may experience some soreness in your gums and sensitivity to hot liquids and foods. It is important to note that deep cleaning is not just a more thorough cleaning than what is provided by a hygienist. It is an entirely different treatment that requires more time and effort than regular cleanings.
Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between these two treatments before deciding which one is right for you.