What Is The Difference Between A "Regular" Cleaning, Scaling And Root Planing And Periodontal Maintenance?

A "Regular" Cleaning or Prophylaxis is removal of plague, calculus and superficial stains from the tooth structure. This type of cleaning is recommended for people who do not have any bone loss, periodontal disease, or infection around their teeth. In our office we regularly screen our patients for having signs of the periodontal disease such as red, swollen and bleeding gums, gums that shrunk or pulled away from the teeth, pain on chewing or brushing, mobile and overly sensitive teeth.

A thorough examination, including full mouth X-rays, usage of a periodontal probe to measure the depth of the pocket between the tooth and the gum tissue (4mm +), help us to determine location, extent and severity of gum disease if present.


If we determine that you have gum disease, we will explain to you its severity and present the treatment options. Usually, the first step is to clean your teeth roots all the way down where the root, gum and bone meet to remove bacteria and their toxins, tartar and diseased tissue. This is called a Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning) procedure. It can allow your gum and bone to start healing process.


Sometimes, if periodontal disease has progressed beyond the "deep cleaning" measure, we will refer you to a "gum" specialist, periodontist. Other treatments, including surgery, may be required.


After the periodontal disease is under control, a regular cleaning is not appropriate anymore. Instead, you will require special on-going gum and bone care procedures, also known as periodontal maintenance to keep your mouth in stable and healthy condition. Periodontal maintenance is typically done every three to four months but sometimes more frequent appointments are necessary. It is critical that you follow all recommendations given to you by your dentist or hygienist for the appropriate home care.