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What is the Difference Between a Teeth Cleaning and a Deep Cleaning?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for a healthy smile and overall well-being. Regular dental checkups are a crucial part of this process, as they help prevent dental issues and ensure early detection and treatment if problems arise. During these checkups, you may encounter two common terms: teeth cleaning and deep cleaning. At Ryba Dentistry, we will explore the significant differences between these two dental procedures to help you better understand their purposes and benefits.

Understanding Teeth Cleaning

Teeth cleaning, also known as dental prophylaxis, is a routine dental procedure aimed at removing dental plaque, tartar, and stains from the surfaces of your teeth. It is a preventive measure that helps maintain your oral health and keeps your smile looking its best.

The primary purpose of teeth cleaning is to:

  • Remove Plaque and Tartar: Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Tartar is hardened plaque that cannot be removed through regular brushing and flossing.

  • Polish Teeth: Teeth cleaning also involves polishing your teeth to remove surface stains, leaving them smoother and brighter.

Deep Cleaning: What Does It Include?

Deep cleaning, also known as periodontal scaling and root planing, is a more intensive dental procedure designed to treat gum disease (periodontal disease). It goes beyond the scope of regular teeth cleaning.

The teeth cleaning procedure typically includes:

  • Scaling: The dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, including areas below the gum line that are impossible to reach with regular brushing and flossing.

  • Flossing: The hygienist will floss between your teeth to ensure they are clean and debris-free.

Key Differences Between Teeth Cleaning and Deep Cleaning

  • Scope of Cleaning: Teeth cleaning removes surface plaque and tartar, while deep cleaning addresses issues below the gumline.

  • Targeted Issues: Teeth cleaning is preventive and cosmetic, while deep cleaning treats gum disease.

  • Depth of Cleaning: Deep cleaning goes deeper, involving the removal of bacteria and infection from below the gums.

  • Pain and Discomfort: Deep cleaning may involve local anesthesia due to its more invasive nature, while teeth cleaning is typically painless.

  • Time Required: Teeth cleaning is relatively quick, while deep cleaning may take longer due to its more thorough nature.

  • Cost Comparison: Deep cleaning is often more expensive than routine teeth cleaning due to its complexity.

Who Needs Deep Cleaning?

If you experience signs of gum disease, such as persistent bad breath, bleeding gums, or loose teeth, or if your dentist identifies deep gum pockets during an examination, they may recommend deep cleaning.

Choose Ryba Dentistry for Your Preventive Dental Needs

Teeth cleaning and deep cleaning serve distinct purposes in maintaining oral health. Teeth cleaning is a preventive and cosmetic procedure, while deep cleaning is necessary to address gum disease. Regular dental checkups and diligent oral hygiene practices are your best allies in maintaining a healthy smile. If you have any concerns about your dental health, don't hesitate to contact Ryba Dentistry in Cleveland or Seven Hills, OH, for personalized guidance.


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