REGULAR & DEEP TEETH CLEANINGWhat is the difference between a regular cleaning (prophylaxis) and a deep cleaning (scaling and root planning)? Over time, bacteria and small amounts of food (plaque) accumulate on the hard to reach surfaces of our teeth. If this material is not removed on a daily basis, it hardens into calculus or tartar. This physical material is an irritant to the gum tissue. A regular cleaning removes the calculus that is present on your teeth at the gum level and the surfaces of your teeth are polished to smooth these surfaces.

Over time, if the calculus is not removed, the gum tissue pulls away from your tooth and the bacteria and plaque are able to build-up UNDER the gum tissue. This inflammation process leads to bone loss and eventually to tooth loss. A deep cleaning or scaling and root planning is a non-surgical treatment to physically remove the plaque and calculus from the root surfaces and to smooth the root surfaces to remove bacterial toxins. Sometimes an antibiotic is introduced into the pocket to try to reduce the bacteria in this area. Following scaling and root planning, you must be very diligent about cleaning and flossing your teeth in order to minimize the build-up of bacteria and plaque.