What is the Difference…between a “regular” cleaning, scaling with root planing, and periodontal maintenance?
A regular cleaning is known as a prophylaxis in dental terms. The American Dental Association describes a prophylaxis as removal of plaque, calculus (hard deposits), and stains from tooth structures.
Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) remove hard deposits from the surfaces of the teeth and their roots. Root planing is typically the first step in treating periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection with inflammation of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums, ligaments, and bone) that can result in the premature loss of teeth. Once periodontal disease is under control, periodontal maintenance visits begin and include cleaning the areas around the roots of the teeth (periodontal pockets) two or more times per year. This procedure is more comprehensive than a “regular” cleaning and deals with the infection and inflammation associated with gum disease.
Did you know that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can be “transmitted” to and from your friends and family simply by sharing drinks and kitchen utensils?