Regular Cleanings vs. Deep Cleanings: What’s the Difference & Why Does It Matter?

If you’re a first-time visitor to the office of Dr. Priti Naik, you may be wondering if you need a normal teeth cleaning and oral exam, or if you need a “deep cleaning,” especially if it’s been a little while since you’ve seen a dentist in Tysons Corner or McLean. 

We’re here to break down the difference between these treatments, and explain why most patients at our office don’t need a deep cleaning. Read on and get all the information you need, then contact us for an appointment right away!

What Is a Regular Cleaning? Understanding Routine Checkups 

Regular, routine teeth cleanings are an essential part of preventive dentistry. And if you’ve ever seen a dentist for a six-month checkup before, you probably know exactly what to expect. Your appointment will consist of the following steps:

  1. X-rays – X-rays are usually taken before your cleaning, and are taken once each year.

  2. Scraping your teeth – Your dental hygienist will use a special set of tools to scrape harmful plaque and tartar away from your teeth. This is important because you can’t remove tartar with at-home brushing alone.

  3. Buffing & polishing your teeth – Next, your teeth will be brushed and polished with a special type of toothpaste and a high-powered polishing tool.

  4. Flossing your teeth – After your teeth are brushed, your dental hygienist will floss them to remove any remaining particles and food debris.

  5. An oral exam – As the last step, a dentist like Dr. Priti Naik will examine your mouth, talk about your oral health, and check for signs of common issues like gum disease and tooth decay.

What Is a Deep Cleaning? Understanding Gum Disease Treatment 

A deep cleaning may sound similar to a teeth cleaning, but it’s completely different. A teeth cleaning usually takes just a few minutes and is done during every six-month appointment at the dentist.

In contrast, deep cleanings are only required for people with gum disease. They also require you to schedule two 1-2 hour appointments, since only half of the mouth is cleaned during each treatment. And, unlike teeth cleaning, the process is more invasive and requires your mouth to be numbed.

In a deep cleaning, also called “scaling and root planing,” your dentist or hygienist will clean and numb your mouth, then use special tools to clean deeply between your gums and teeth. This is done to remove the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease.

Along with antibiotics, deep cleanings are the first step that most dentists take when treating patients with gum disease. With timely intervention, deep cleanings can halt or even reverse the progression of this oral health condition. 

Dr. Priti Naik Is Here for You in Vienna, Tysons Corner & McLean – Schedule Today!

Whether you have a healthy mouth and need a routine cleaning and checkup, or you suspect that you may have gum disease and need a deep cleaning, Dr. Priti Naik is here to help. We’re always accepting new patients in Vienna, Tysons Corner, and McLean, so contact us online or give us a call at (703) 288-1800 to learn more and get the dental care you need today. 

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