Deep teeth cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a procedure used to treat gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. The procedure is non-surgical and is performed under a local anesthetic. The dentist will scrape away plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. He or she will also smooth the rough spots that may exist on the teeth. Smoothing these rough spots not only removes bacteria, but also provides a smooth surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. Deep teeth cleaning will be performed if your periodontist or dentist determines that you have plaque or tartar (hardened plaque, also referred to as calculus) underneath the gums that needs to be removed. This procedure also helps the periodontal pockets to shrink, helping the gums re-bond to the tooth’s surface. Having a deep teeth cleaning performed if you have periodontal disease helps increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth. It also decreases the risk of serious health problems which can result from the disease.
However, deep teeth cleaning can be quite expensive, sometimes costing as much as several hundred dollars. Many dental insurance plans will cover a deep cleaning, however some won’t, or the ones that do, may not cover enough to offset the patient’s cost. Discount dental plans such as Ameriplan USA® can be very useful and helpful in these situations. These plans are not insurance, however, they do offer substantial discounts on dental services, ranging from 25-80%! This can mean a huge discount off of the cost of a necessary deep teeth cleaning.