Prophylaxis Cleaning vs Deep cleaning – Which one is better?
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is the key to living a healthy life. In fact healthy teeth & gums can reduce your risk of developing a wide range of medical conditions including but not limited to heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. A big part of keeping your gums & teeth healthy is oral hygiene. Regular brushing, flossing, the use of mouthwash, are some of the factors that keep your tooth & gums healthy. Another very important aspect of keeping your teeth and gums healthy is regular cleaning. Dental prophylaxis and deep cleaning are two extremely effective solutions. Let us look closely at the difference between the two.
Commonly referred to as “prophy” it is generally recommended for patients with overall good oral health. Typically undertaken twice a year, it involves removing any plaque on the teeth & just below the gum line. When you have healthy teeth & gums, a six-monthly treatment is adequate to remove plaque and ensure that the plaque does not harden into tartar or cause gum diesase. The procedure typically takes less than an hour and is performed by a handheld scaler or an ultrasonic device.
Typically, in a dental prophylaxis cleaning appointment you can expect the following:
- The dentist conducts a visual exam.
- Undertakes scaling.
- Proceeds to polishing.
- Ends with Fluoride treatment.
Advantages of Prophylaxis Cleaning
The big advantages that prophylaxis offers includes:
- Removal of plaque & tartar buildup.
- Improving aesthetics and getting the teeth rid of stains & unsightly deposition. In turn, it helps improve your confidence to flash your pearly whites.
- Removal of plaque, bacteria & tartar takes away bad breath or what is known as halitosis & leaves you with fresher breath.
- The big advantage with prophylaxis is also that it allows the dentist the opportunity to scan the entire oral cavity & spot any issues early.
Deep cleaning becomes necessary when there is a large number of bacteria and tartar build-up. It is highly recommended for those with periodontal disease, as left untreated the high level of plaque and tartar can lead to infection of the gums and loss of bone tissue and teeth over and teeth over a period of time. With deep cleaning, the progression of periodontal disease can be stemmed.
Essentially it involves both scaling & root planning. While scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth’s surface as well as any gum pockets, root planning involves removing plaque & tartar from the surface of the roots. Depending on the level of tartar accumulation, deep cleaning sittings can happen every three months. Unlike regular cleaning, deep cleaning takes time on account of the extensive cleaning needed. In fact, a deep cleaning can take more than one appointment. Follow-up visits may also be needed to monitor oral health.
After a deep cleaning, it is imperative to maintain oral hygiene to ensure that the gum disease does not recur. In fact, studies have shown that disease-causing bacteria can recolonize in 1-2 months after deep cleaning. This is the exact reason that periodontal maintenance is recommended every 3 months. When you return for a periodontal maintenance visit, the pockets depths are checked, and your periodontal status is reassessed.
Advantages of deep cleaning
The advantages that deep cleaning offers, include:
- It stops the advancement of gum disease.
- It protects the root of the teeth.
- Prevents tooth loss.
- Keep gums healthy,
- Eliminates bad breath.
Signs that your teeth need deep cleaning
Some of the signs that may indicate that you need deep cleaning include:
- Swollen Gums
- Gums that bleed
- Bad breath
- Recession of gums
- Bone loss
- Periodontal pockets that exceed 3 millimeters.
Although deep cleaning is a common and safe procedure, you can experience some amount of discomfort & sensitivity. You are therefore offered a local anesthetic to numb the gums. Post the procedure it is advisable to eat soft foods and also to avoid have extremely hot or cold food. Rinsing with salt water helps reduce inflammation.
Which one of the two cleanings is better?
The answer to that question lies in a thorough examination of your dental health. To determine whether you require deep cleaning, your dentist may take an x-ray. This can reveal the spaces between the teeth & under the gums as also any tartar build up. With the relevant information the dentist can suggest which cleaning best fits your bespoke condition.
Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, your dentist will be in the best position to advise you on the way forward. What you need to maintain in all cases is good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily with a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. With the right oral hygiene not only can you avoid gum disease and tooth decay, but you can also ensure that a whole lot of other diseases do not develop as well.