Does Deep Teeth Cleaning Take More Than One Session?

Deep Dental Cleaning Alexandria, VA

Deep teeth cleaning is performed to remove plaque and tartar from teeth and their roots. Only about a quarter of a patient’s mouth is cleaned during a session to help minimize the discomfort. The patient is injected with a shot of a local anesthetic at the start of their treatment so that they do not feel pain as the dentist works on them.

How deep teeth cleaning works

Formally called root scaling and planing, deep teeth cleaning is used to remove tartar and plaque from a patient’s teeth and roots. The procedure helps to protect teeth against tooth decay, and it also helps to reverse and manage gum disease.

A traditional teeth cleaning involves only cleaning teeth surfaces and below the gumline. The patient’s teeth roots are not thoroughly cleaned as they would be with deep cleaning. Traditional teeth cleanings are performed routinely during biannual checkups, but deep cleanings are typically recommended when the dentist notices signs and symptoms of gum disease.

Deep teeth cleaning consists of two different dental treatments. The root planing part refers to the extraction of damaged or infected tooth structures around the patient’s gumline. It also involves polishing any rough and uneven parts of teeth roots.

Root scaling involves removing tartar and plaque deposits from above and below the patient’s gumline. It is often done with a hand tool called a scaler.

The process

Patients are given a shot of a local anesthetic at the start of deep teeth cleaning treatments. This allows the dentist to work without causing the person pain. Dental sedatives might be used depending on how anxious the patient is about the treatment. Each session can take up to two hours, and things run more efficiently when the patient is calm and relaxed.

Only about a quarter to half of the patient’s mouth is deep cleaned during a session. Most patients will have to come back for at least one additional session to have all of their teeth deep cleaned.

Why multiple sessions work best

There are two main reasons why dentists prefer splitting root scaling and planing treatments into multiple sessions. The first reason is to avoid numbing the patient’s entire mouth. The effect of a local anesthetic lingers for hours after getting injected. It can make normal activities like chewing and speaking feel awkward, and it can even lead to injuries to soft tissues like the cheeks if the patient accidentally bites themselves. Breaking down the treatment into sessions reduces such issues.

Secondly, deep cleaning takes time, and most patients would rather not spend more than a couple of hours seated in a dental chair. Any longer than that and the dentist would likely have to explore sedatives.

Protect your teeth and gums

Deep cleaning your teeth gives you extra protection against tooth decay and gum disease. The procedure is typically broken down into multiple sessions to make it a more pleasant experience. Give us a call or visit our Alexandria clinic to learn more about deep cleanings.

Request an appointment here: or call Alexandria Old Town Dental at (703) 763-1078 for an appointment in our Alexandria office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Deep Teeth Cleaning in Alexandria, VA.

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