The Complete Guide to Understanding "What is Dental Deep Cleaning?"

April 03, 2024

Introduction Ever found yourself lost in dental jargon, scratching your head and wondering: "What on Earth is dental deep cleaning?" Don't fret; we've all been there. This guide will unravel the mystery behind this common dental procedure, leaving you with a sparkling understanding.

What is Dental Deep Cleaning? First things first, what is dental deep cleaning? In layman's terms, dental deep cleaning is more than just your regular dental cleaning; it's a treatment specifically designed to combat gum diseases by cleaning between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. Think of it as a spa day, but for your gums!

Why You Might Need a Dental Deep Cleaning

  • Fighting the Plaque Attack: Over time, plaque and tartar build up on our teeth. This can lead to gum diseases. A dental deep cleaning acts as a savior in these circumstances, whisking away the nasty culprits.

  • Guarding Against Gum Diseases: Ever heard of gingivitis? It's the precursor to a more serious gum disease called periodontitis. A deep cleaning helps keep such diseases at bay.

Dental Deep Cleaning vs. Regular Cleaning: The Showdown

While both aim to clean, there are some stark differences:

  • Depth of Cleaning: Regular cleaning focuses on the surface of the teeth, while dental deep cleaning goes, well, deeper.

  • Purpose: Regular cleanings are preventative. In contrast, deep cleanings are often a remedy for existing gum problems.

The Procedure: Step by Step

  1. Assessment: The dentist will first evaluate the need for a deep cleaning using X-rays or an examination.
  2. Scaling: This involves scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line.
  3. Root Planing: Here, the dentist smoothens rough spots on the tooth root, where germs gather.
  4. After-Care: You might be given an antibiotic to ward off any lingering bacteria.

Cost and Insurance: Breaking the Bank?

Dental deep cleaning can be pricier than regular cleanings. However, many insurance plans do cover it, especially if it's deemed medically necessary. So, it's worth checking with your provider.

Benefits of Dental Deep Cleaning

  • Healthier Gums: Post-treatment, you'll notice your gums are less red, swollen, and bleed less.

  • Prevention: It helps prevent tooth loss and other complications arising from gum diseases.

Side Effects: Anything to Worry About?

While generally safe, some folks might experience:

  • Tenderness: The gums might feel a tad sore post-treatment.

  • Tooth Sensitivity: Cold or hot, certain foods might cause a brief sting.

Don't sweat the small stuff; these effects are often temporary.

Maintaining Dental Health Post Deep Cleaning

  • Brush Regularly: Yes, the age-old wisdom still stands.

  • Floss Like a Boss: This ensures no sneaky bits of food remain between the teeth.

  • Regular Check-Ups: Because prevention is better than cure, right?


  • Is dental deep cleaning painful? No, not generally. The dentist often uses a local anesthetic. However, some might feel a slight discomfort post-procedure.

  • How often should one get a dental deep cleaning? It depends on individual dental health. Your dentist is your best guide here.

  • Is there any downtime post-treatment? Most folks can resume their daily activities immediately. Just avoid any overly hot or cold food for a day or two.

  • Can I eat post-procedure? Yes, but stick to soft foods and avoid anything too hot or cold.

  • How long does the procedure take? Usually between 1-2 hours, but it can vary based on the extent of cleaning required.

  • Will I need multiple sessions? Some might require more than one session, especially if they have significant tartar buildup.


A dental deep cleaning, while sounding ominous, is a straightforward procedure with a myriad of benefits. It goes beyond the surface, targeting the root of potential dental problems (pun intended!). If your dentist suggests it, it might be worth sinking your teeth into the idea.