Scaling and Root Planing (SRP), which is commonly referred to as a deep cleaning or gum therapy, is the removal of plaque along with smoothing the roots of your teeth. And when patients who visit our office are diagnosed with gum disease, a deep cleaning is what we’ll recommend.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Some typical signs of gum disease that we most commonly see in the office are swollen and bleeding gums (especially while brushing), calculus near or below your gums, bad breath, and pain in your gums.
However, having one or many of these symptoms doesn’t mean that you can’t dramatically improve your oral health. Depending on the stage and severity of your condition, the deep cleaning you’ll receive at MFD – in combination with improved habits and oral hygiene that we’ll cover – can help you get back on the right path for your gums and teeth.
What will a deep cleaning do to improve my mouth?
One of our two awesome hygienists (Ciera or Edith) will remove the bacteria from underneath your gums. Once this is done, your gums will have a higher likelihood of shrinking back to a healthier, more stable, state.
This will also help to reduce or eliminate the bleeding you experience while brushing, while at the same time improving your overall gum tissue health – which will ultimately help to keep all of your current teeth present and in the correct place.
Does having the deep cleaning mean that my oral health is reset back to great?
Unfortunately, the SRP procedure does not automatically restore your gums back to their original and pristine condition. This treatment is made to preserve and improve the gum tissue that remains. And while we can’t go back to the ole’ days, keeping the tissue you have and building on new healthy habits can make a drastic improvement. Additionally, we’ll prevent the progression of your gum disease – which is nice.
Following the deep cleaning, it’s very important to implement great habits to keep your remaining gum tissue healthy. We recommend brushing twice a day (in the morning and before bed), flossing at least once per day, anti-bacterial mouth rinse at least once per day, and scheduling and showing up for your regular maintenance visits at MFD.
Building these great habits goes a long way
We love seeing patients in our office who’ve had a deep cleaning a few years ago, and because of regular brushing, flossing, rinsing, and maintenance visits, they’ve reached a consistent and lasting quality of health in their mouths. No more bleeding or puffy gums, bad breath, or invading bacteria.
These patients who have really bought into keeping their mouths healthy reap all the benefits, and they’re so inspiring to see on a regular basis.
All this to say that we’ll do our part in the office to get you reset, but once you leave – you take your oral health in your own hands. But don’t worry, we’ll arm you with all the tools and knowledge you’ll need to make that transition a breeze!
What is going to happen during my deep cleaning?
Following our assessment, we’ll use a few injections of anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums. Then we will use our water pressure tool to clean out the bacteria before doing our final assessment, and maybe taking some additional X-rays to make sure we’ve removed all of the bacteria.
Because this process can be overwhelming to some patients, we like to schedule half of the mouth (right or left side) for your first visit, and then the other side during a second visit.
During these appointments, we make sure to schedule plenty of extra time so that our hygienists aren’t rushed, which allows us to take every step to do the best job while making sure you are the most comfortable during your SRP.
Do I need to get an injection for this procedure?
We understand that some patients don’t like the idea of a needle in their mouths, but we’ve seen that the tiny prick you’ll receive at the beginning of your deep cleaning is well worth the 1.5 hours of comfort that you’ll have during your procedure.
Trust us – it’s the way to go.
What can I expect to experience after my deep cleaning?
You should still expect to see some bleeding and general soreness following the procedure. Because of the work that was done throughout your mouth and below your gums, this is common. This will subside a day or so after your procedure.
A unique feeling once the SRP is complete.
What do we mean?
Because the bacteria have built up over (in many cases) years below your gums, once that bacteria is gone, it’s common to feel like you have holes between your teeth or even cavities in them. Don’t worry – that’s not the case!
What’s true is that so much bacteria has been removed so that your gums can shrink back to a healthy size. Although the feeling is a “weird” one – it’s a great sign that you’ve just made tremendous progress.
Following an SRP – we’ll schedule you slightly more often than the typical “2 cleanings per year”
Because we want to make sure the gums are healing and maintaining a better quality, we schedule our SRP patients 3-4 times per year rather than the typical 2. This way, we’ll be better able to monitor your health and you’ll get to participate in more of our monthly promotions and giveaways than just the typical 2 per year! Win-Win!
Should I be scared of this?
While having a deep cleaning is definitely out of the ordinary, it’s nothing to be scared of. Every step of the procedure is done to your comfort level and isn’t rushed. We also have many entertainment options at our office to also help you stay relaxed – Netflix, live TV, “great playlists!”… (- quote from an anonymous patient)
But the thing that you should take the most comfort in is the fact that our hygienists, Ciera and Edith, are highly trained, patient-centered, and perform this procedure on a daily basis. In a phrase, you’re in great hands!
As always, if you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, send us an email or give us a call and we’ll talk soon! Thanks, all!