What is a Deep Clean at the Dentist?

A deep clean is often an hour long hygiene session that is more extensive to help remove plaque and tartar build-up, particularly in gum disease cases.

A deep clean at the dentist, is technically referred to as scaling and root planing, which basically describes the process of using special techniques to get rid of plaque, tartar and bacteria below the gum line (right down to your tooth roots). Now, this might sound painful. But it’s really not – and you would have had a deep clean several times in your lifetime without even realising it.

image of tartar removal

Is dental deep cleaning painful?

A deep clean is carried out under a local anaesthetic by a hygienist or a dentist and is mostly recommended in cases of gingivitis or gum disease. It’s a great treatment to prevent gum disease from advancing and causing future complications like receding gums or tooth loss. 

Deep cleaning sessions are typically 30-60 minutes long and can sometimes take place over two or more visits for advanced gum scaling and root planing. The procedure is not painful, and patients with minimal gum pocket depths experience the least discomfort. As pain is relative, some patients might feel slight pressure or some sensitivity after the deep cleaning process as the gums begin the process of healing.

At most, patients can expect a few days of sore or sensitive gums, which might bleed as they heal, but they’ll be back to normal in no time. While the gums will take several weeks to heal behind the scenes, patients should not experience any symptoms after the first few days as the gums reattach. 

What does a dentist deep clean involve?

A deep teeth cleaning procedure is divided into two parts: periodontal scaling and root planing. Both aspects of the treatment involve the use of electronic or ultrasonic instruments alongside scaling tools to remove plaque and tartar build-up deep below the gum line. 

The procedure is beneficial for patients who need extra protection for their tooth roots and need help in promoting healthy gums.

While deep dental cleaning might make some patients feel nervous or concerned about how their teeth will look after the pockets have been cleaned, it’s important to know that it’s a very safe, common procedure that will not cause teeth to become loose or fall out. 

On the contrary, deep cleaning is instrumental in preventing the progression of gum disease and helping restore gums to optimal health.

Should I have deep cleaning with gum recession?

A deep dental clean is essential for preventing gum disease from getting worse, which will cause your gums to keep receding. However, once the bacteria has been removed during a deep clean, you’ll notice that  your gums will stop swelling, which might make them appear to shrink.

A deep clean will not cause the gums to recede, but you might notice a difference to your smile following the procedure. Speaking to the dentist about this can answer any worries you might have regarding a deep clean and we can recommend additional procedures to make reduce the appearance of receding gums.

Your teeth will be brighter and cleaner

As professional deep cleans remove plaque, tartar and surface stains, patients can expect the appearance of their smile to gain a little boost as teeth appear lighter, cleaner and brighter.

surrey dental practice
Dawn SwansonDawn Swanson
10:27 24 Nov 22
I have been with the Gentle Dental Practice for 8 years, the care and service I have received has always been 5 star. I have recently used their new hygienist Nicky who is great. Looking for a new dentist just contact their very friendly and proffessional team.
George HorseyGeorge Horsey
18:54 15 Nov 22
Dental Impant Surgery:I had my dental implants fitted recently and I am extremely happy with the outcome. Ali and the team have done an amazing job since I lost my 2 front teeth over 6 years ago. I had to wait for the surgery for a long time due to my age and the issues surrounding having implants at a young age.I finally had the surgery 12 weeks ago and had my two new crowns fitted last week. They look absolutely amazing and the whole procedure was way less painful than I ever thought it would be.I would highly recommend getting your implants done at the Gentle Dental Practice, you won't regret it!A massive thank you to everyone at the practice!
Deeban SkandalingamDeeban Skandalingam
12:06 03 Nov 22
Fantastic work on my teeth and I would highly recommend! My teeth turned out better than I had even hoped for. If you are in need of any dental work, you would be doing a great disservice if you didn't speak to this practice first. The staff were extremely friendly, there were text updates and all in all an excellent service from start to finish. If you haven't guessed already, I am thoroughly pleased with The Gentle Dentle. Thank you!
Pippa HarveyPippa Harvey
14:54 26 Oct 22
Like many people, I have an immense fear of dentistry, and dentists, due to previous experiences.I had two broken teeth and one that had been treated incorrectly by an NHS dentist. I had been in daily pain for about 18 months, and had been put on a 6 month waiting list by my NHS dentist.I called gentle dental to explain my problem and they offered me a same day appointment. They were kind, compassionate, understanding, patient and validating. I’m not sure anybody ever feels completely comfortable in the chair, but It’s the closest I’ve ever come!The work needed was carried out, all of the staff were kind and welcoming, and it showed me that the dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded place!Thank you so, so much gentle dental! I will definitely be returning.
Tilesh PTilesh P
15:45 14 Sep 22
Dental Implants - 3 New Teeth - June 2022I had the most professional and pain free experience when getting my new tooth implants at Gentle Dental. Honestly I put it off for some many years because I just didn't want to go through the pain. But my experience was totally the opposite. Ali and the wonderful girls were there every step of the way. All my questions got answered and I was reassured everything would work out well. And it did. I was worried for no reason.I did think about going abroad to have it done but when you consider the risk factor, time and professional standards - it made no sense to me. I have known Ali for a long time and knew I would be in the best hands and if there were any issues these would could be resolved easily.If you are thinking of having dental implants at Gentle - don't waste any more time. Just book and get it done.Was it painful ? No, uncomfortable for a few days, yes for sure.I just wish I had it done sooner. Thanks guys, love my new teeth 🙂
Edward CrameEdward Crame
13:43 04 Dec 21
Very happy with all aspects of the work they have done. Very clean, professional and well run business.
Lynn HuddartLynn Huddart
12:43 24 Nov 21
Dr Ali Rifai was professional and I am very pleased with the outcome of my Invisalign's. I have been with this practice for many years and would highly recommend. The staff are very friendly and nothing is an issue.
Jonathan PlumbJonathan Plumb
11:52 24 Nov 21
Can't thank this practice enough for all their help. I don't post reviews very often, so when I do, it's because an impression has been left! Dr Ali saw me at short notice to help fix a broken tooth. The nurse (I think her name was Danni) was so helpful and kind, as were the rest of the team. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need (the same day i asked for an appointment!)
Eva AugustEva August
07:11 06 Nov 21
I’m so happy to find this practice. I suffer from anxiety and high sensitivity to pain. It was very stressful for me going to dentist after years of fear. The team not only make me calm and welcome but I FELL ASLEEP during treatment with Dr Marshall ! So understanding and caring. Thank you!
Marc NevittMarc Nevitt
11:35 11 Oct 21
I have been using this dentist for well over a decade and can honestly say my teeth would be in a far worse situation if wasn’t for the Gentle Dental practice.My most recent visit was for a filling .. barely felt the injection!I would highly recommend this dentist to anyone, but especially if you’re teeth require a high level of care like mine.
Emma BrauerEmma Brauer
08:44 04 Aug 21
This place was recommended to me by family and for a nervous patient the best experience. The reception welcome is cheerful and friendly, beautifully modern area with hot drinks and water on offer.I needed implants, crowns and bridges followed by whitening, so lots of appointments. My dentist Mr Ali Rafai was superb from start to finish, so professional and personable. Throughout the whole process I was cared for wonderfully plus lots of laughs along the way. The constant care during appointments was very comforting, no rushing, and I knew I my needs were Mr Rafai's priority. Plus check up call the next day without fail to make sure everything was going well.Absolutely deserves five stars!
Alan SamuelAlan Samuel
13:30 14 Jul 21
Fantastic experience with Ali. It took 18 months including bone grafting, removing and replacing failed dental implants, invisaline for my bottom teeth which were all over the place and some veneers but now I'm delighted with the outcome.Ali was always very clear about how this wasn't an overnight solution in an honest and forthright manner which gave me confidence that he would deliver results.I was offered several overnight solutions from other dentists locally at a fraction of the cost but when I see how much effort and detail that went into my plan, I know i made the right choice.
Kurt JohnsonKurt Johnson
17:48 14 May 21
I have got no complaints about this Dental Practice. They were all very friendly and accommodating and always professional.My dental treatment was also really good, everything went according to plan and the results are great!I am VERY happy with the outcome and would recommend them anytime!
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