Scaling and root planning
Deep cleaning is also known as scaling and root planing. Just like with a regular cleaning, a deep cleaning involves scaling away plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces and at the gum line. However, the scaling must go deeper below the gumline to get at the buildups that have accumulated there.
The main difference between a regular cleaning and deep cleaning is root planing. This process involves going beyond the buildup on the teeth and scraping it away from the actual roots of the teeth. As gum disease develops, the gums will start to detach from the tooth, which diminishes support and also allows space for more bacteria to accumulate.
Root planing is using a special tool to reach deep into the pockets along the bone and scrape away the plaque and tartar that have collected. The technician will be very meticulous during this procedure to make sure that the pocket is cleaned out as thoroughly as possible. If not, then the plaque and bacteria will only continue to build up after the cleaning is finished.