The Difference Between Deep Cleaning and Scaling

Deep cleaning and scaling are two different treatments used to remove tartar from teeth. Learn more about the differences between these two treatments.

The Difference Between Deep Cleaning and Scaling

Scraping and root smoothing, also known as deep cleaning, are treatments used to remove tartar (hardened minerals) that may stick to the teeth. This procedure is necessary if you have periodontitis (advanced gum disease). Deep cleaning is a general term for periodontal treatment known as root scraping and smoothing (SRP). General cleaning (prophylaxis) is done preventively to help patients maintain good oral health, while scraping and root smoothing therapy is used to treat periodontal (gum) disease and stop the disease process.

At Premier Periodontics, our specialized team offers scraping and root smoothing treatments in seven specialized offices located in Bellevue, Mercer Island, Olympia, Kent, Redmond, Everett and Kirkland, WA. Routine cleanings may be essential for preventing gum disease, but scraping is used to treat the condition. It is considered a method of “deep cleaning” teeth and is the most commonly used treatment for periodontal disease. Deep cleanings are usually done in two or more visits and include gum scraping and root smoothing.

Each visit can last 1 to 2 hours. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause pain, swelling, bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss. It's common to have sore, swollen, and tender gums and tenderness after a deep dental cleaning that may bleed a little. This is a more extensive dental cleaning that is generally the most appropriate for patients who have chronic gum disease.

It's a non-surgical procedure, but it does more than standard cleaning since it cleans the areas of a tooth that are below the gum line, not just above it. Root scraping and smoothing is commonly known as deep tooth cleaning, and your dentist will recommend it if you are a candidate for it. Once your periodontal treatment is finished, it is very important to maintain good brushing and flossing habits and to see your dental hygienist for regular cleaning.