Deep Cleaning – Natick, MA

Restore Your Gum Health with a Deep Cleaning

Your gum health is equally important as that of your teeth. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least 50% of adults have a form of periodontal disease. This is a preventable infection that develops in the gum tissue due to bacteria found in plaque and tartar accumulations. If it is not treated quickly, it can lead to the eventual loss of your teeth while also negatively impacting your general health. To stop the infection, you need a deep cleaning in Natick, MA with Dr. Christina Papageorgiou.

Do I Need a Deep Cleaning?

Patient receiving a deep cleaning for gum disease

Gum disease is a serious infection that first appears as red, swollen, or bleeding gums. At this stage, it is known as gingivitis, which is easily treatable and will not produce long-term damage. If you do not receive a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, the infection intensifies. Eventually, it destroys the supporting structures of your teeth. Over time, they can become loose and fall out.

The bacteria responsible for the infection can also enter your bloodstream. As it circulates throughout your body, it causes serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

During your routine dental visit, your dentist in Natick, Dr. Papageorgiou, not only checks the health of your teeth but that of your gums as well. She looks for signs of the infection and uses probing to measure the area around your teeth to see if pockets of over 3 millimeters have formed in the gingival tissue. If the pocket depth is greater than 5 millimeters, it is best to have a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing to remove trapped bacteria from the spaces between the tissue and your teeth.

Deep Cleaning Process

Animated smile during deep cleaning process

Your periodontal dentist in Natick first performs the scaling procedure to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and the roots using special dental tools. After the pockets are free from buildup, root planing is used to smooth the areas to prevent future accumulations. Generally, it requires 2 appointments to complete both procedures.

Following your treatment, your gums naturally become healthier over the next few weeks. In some cases, your dentist may recommend more frequent preventive appointments to keep your gums healthy.

Protecting Your Gum Health

Man receiving dental checkup to protect his gum health

To stop the infection from developing again, it is best to be proactive about your gum health. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and tartar control toothpaste. Take the time to floss in between each tooth and around your gum line every night before going to bed. In some cases, we may recommend the use of an antibacterial mouth rinse to further reduce harmful bacteria levels in your mouth.

Deep Cleaning Frequently Asked Questions

Man receiving a deep cleaning for gum disease

Gum disease is a common condition that affects an estimated 65 million U.S. adults. Unfortunately, it’s also the #1 cause of tooth loss and increases the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s. But, despite these consequences, gum disease can be managed with effective treatment, including a deep cleaning in Natick. Keep reading to get answers to several deep cleaning FAQs, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions!

Why Can’t I Just Get a Regular Cleaning?

A regular 6-month dental cleaning is designed to prevent gum disease in patients with relatively healthy gums and simply isn’t adequate to keep the condition from getting worse. One way we assess gum health is by measuring the pockets around each tooth, which are normally between 1mm and 3mm. These shallow pockets allow us to complete a regular cleaning in less than an hour because they don’t collect as much plaque and tartar as deeper pockets.

When someone has gum disease, they have pockets deeper than 4mm that create more room for tartar buildup, which is why a deep cleaning takes longer. In addition, the procedure not only involves removing more tartar but also smoothing out the roots of the teeth. This more thorough type of cleaning is the first step to managing gum disease and preventing it from getting worse.

Are Deep Cleanings Painful?

Your comfort is a top priority to us, so we’ll administer local anesthetic prior to your deep cleaning. Since the gums are so inflamed when someone has gum disease, they’re much more sensitive and tender than usual. In fact, many patients even experience discomfort when brushing or flossing, so it’s easy to see how a cleaning without anesthetic could be uncomfortable! With that said, being numbed is ultimately each patient’s decision and it isn’t necessarily required.

Can a Deep Cleaning Be Done In One Visit?

We almost always recommend doing a deep cleaning over multiple appointments. This gives us the extra time we need to thoroughly remove the plaque, tartar, and bacteria under the gums and smooth the roots. In addition, we aren’t able to numb the entire mouth at one time because it temporarily interferes with your ability to swallow.

In most cases, we’ll clean the upper left and lower left quadrants at one visit, and the upper right and lower right quadrants at a second appointment. However, there are cases in which someone has such excessive tartar that four appointments are required (one quadrant at each visit). There are also cases in which someone only has localized gum disease that affects just a few teeth, allowing us to complete their deep cleaning in just one visit.

Will Insurance Cover a Deep Cleaning?

In most cases, yes. We’ll submit X-rays and probe readings to your insurance company to show them that you meet the criteria for a gum disease diagnosis. Since the procedure is designed to treat rather than prevent gum disease, it’s typically not covered at 100% the way preventive procedures often are. After we’ve recommended a deep cleaning, we’ll explain your insurance coverage and give you an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs. And rest assured that our team always works hard to maximize your benefits and will also file your claim for you.