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Deep Cleaning

Dr. Robert Choi | San Mateo General Dentist

A deep cleaning involves two different procedures: scaling and root planing. Scaling removes plaque and tartar; planing smooths out tooth roots. A smooth root surface helps prevent tartar from accumulating, allowing the gums to heal and the pockets to shrink. A deep cleaning may be performed by Dr. Robert Choi or one of our hygienists.


Why Do I need a Deep Cleaning?

A dental deep cleaning allows us to clean your gums and tooth roots thoroughly if you have gum disease. Also called a scaling and root planing, this improves the health of your gums by removing the plaque and tartar beneath the gum line that causes gum disease.

Gum disease or periodontal disease, occurs when plaque and tartar build up on the gum line and develops deep pockets. If left untreated, bacteria can thrive in these pockets and spread to your bones leading to tooth loss.

What is the Procedure?

Before the procedure, your gums and mouth may be numbed with local anesthetic, so you don't feel any discomfort. The plaque and tartar is removed using hand instruments called scalers and ultrasonic instruments. Large deposits of plaque and tartar are removed by using ultrasonic instruments, followed by a scaler to remove any remaining tartar and plaque.Depending on the severity of your periodontal disease, the procedure may not be completed in one visit. If your gum disease is advanced, we may recommend that only one segment of your mouth is treated at each visit.

How long is recovery ?

Recovery may take a couple of days or up to a week. Soreness around the treated area is common after the procedure, as well as minor bleeding and tooth sensitivity while you recover. To reduce your discomfort, and control any lingering pain, Dr. Robert Choi may recommend over-the-counter pain medication or even prescribe medication. Antiseptic mouth rinses can also be helpful if gums are sore. 

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