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Treatment Alternatives for Deep Cleaning

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There are various reasons that may nudge you towards getting dental deep cleaning alternatives. Dentists often recommend this treatment, especially for patients seeking to resolve gum disease issues.

However, there are also other equally effective treatments that you can consider to help you maintain optimal oral health.

This article extensively explores these alternatives by highlighting:

  • What dental deep cleaning is and why you should get it;
  • Several reasons why you may want to look for alternative treatments;
  • Other popular treatment options besides deep dental cleaning.

Understanding Deep Dental Cleaning

Deep dental cleaning is a non-surgical procedure to remove plaque buildup, bacteria, and tartar on the teeth and below the gum line.

Also referred to as scaling or root planing, dentists often prescribe deep dental cleaning as a mode of resolving periodontal disease (gum disease).

Unlike regular cleaning, which you can easily get by searching up ‘dental cleaning near me,’ this treatment is more extensive and comprehensive, as it goes beyond the gum line.

How Does Dental Deep Cleaning Work?

When getting a deep dental cleaning, your dentist or periodontist scales and removes plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, including the surfaces of the roots.

Moreover, deep dental cleaning is mainly prescribed to patients with gum infections and deep periodontal pockets, bleeding gums, or signs of bone loss. The procedure helps to halt the progression of the infections and promote gum tissue healing.

Dentists use specialized instruments to do the scaling manually, or at times, ultrasonic scalers may be used to eliminate toxins, pathogens, and bacteria that can contribute to gum inflammation and infection.

Getting a deep cleaning involves multiple visits to your dentist. Dentists often focus on different sections of the mouth during each appointment or visit to ensure thorough treatment.

Although deep cleaning is somewhat of an extensive procedure, it is not painful, as local anesthesia or numbing agents may be used to minimize comfort. Ensure to talk about dental sedation options with your dentist before the procedure.

Benefits of Deep Dental Cleaning

Deep dental cleaning has numerous benefits that can contribute to the overall well-being of the patient, including:

  • Preventing or halting the progression of gum disease

Gum disease is a common condition caused by the buildup of tartar and plaque. When left untreated, it can lead to various conditions, including gum recession and gum inflammation. According to reports, 2 in 3 adults have reported having gum disease, meaning it is quite common.

However, with deep dental cleaning, you can remove the tartar and plaque that accumulates below the gum line, eliminating the source of infection.

Deep cleaning significantly reduces your risk of getting periodontal diseases while preventing it from progressing if you already have it

    • Enhancing oral hygiene

It can be challenging to eliminate all the plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line, regardless of your brushing techniques.

Considering deep dental cleaning provides a comprehensive treatment that reaches areas difficult to reach with brushing or flossing. This eliminates the accumulated bacteria, enhancing the effectiveness of subsequent oral hygiene regimens.

Bonus tip: Check out these new toothbrush technology that can be useful for gum issues.

  • Preventing tooth loss

Tooth loss is one of the main results of gum disease. This means by addressing gum disease through deep dental cleaning, you significantly reduce the risk of getting tooth loss.

This is because not only does it get rid of disease-causing bacteria and plaque, but it also helps preserve the stability and health of the teeth.

Besides directly impacting your oral health, deep dental cleaning has been said to improve overall body health. By getting rid of gum disease, you also eliminate the risk of contracting systemic conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory infections.

Top Alternatives for Deep Dental Cleaning

Although deep cleaning is an effective treatment for gum disease, it may not be the only option, especially for patients without severe cases or those who don’t want to undergo the treatment.

Here are the top dental deep cleaning alternatives that you can consider:

Laser-assisted periodontal therapy
Laser-assisted periodontal therapy

A laser-assisted periodontal therapy is a more modern and less invasive treatment option that can be used in place of deep cleaning. This treatment uses laser energy to eliminate bacteria and infected tissue from the gums.

Laser-assisted periodontal therapy offers better precision, and since it is minimally invasive, it has better comfort levels. This makes it an attractive alternative for patients with gum disease.

Air polishing
Air polishing

Patients with sensitive teeth can greatly benefit from air polishing as an alternative treatment for deep cleaning.

This procedure involves combining compressed air and water to remove plaque, stains, and biofilm from the teeth and below the gum line. At times, medical-grade powder may be used.

Ultrasonic scaling
Ultrasonic scaling

Ultrasonic scaling is a procedure that uses high-frequency vibrations to get rid of plaque buildup and tartar from your teeth and below the gum line.

The technique uses a modern scaler that emits sound waves and water to break down and flush out the deposits. This is an efficient and less invasive procedure, which patients have reported is more comfortable than traditional hand scaling.

Antibacterial irrigation
Antibacterial irrigation

This is a supplementary treatment that can be used to complement dental deep cleaning.

An antimicrobial solution or oral rinse is used to irrigate and disinfect the gums and periodontal pockets. In the process, you eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation, ultimately contributing to the healing and promotion of healthy gums.


At times, antibiotics are prescribed for people with gum disease. They are mainly used alongside deep cleaning, although they may be used as a standalone treatment, especially for people with mild to moderate gum disease.

In general, antibiotics work by reducing the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth, hence preventing the progression of gum disease.

Which Option Is Right for You?

If you are looking for the best alternative for deep cleaning, it would be prudent to discuss the available options with your dentist or dental hygienist.

They can take you through the alternatives, enabling you to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks to determine the best gum disease treatment.


What is the alternative to deep cleaning of the gums?

There are numerous dental deep cleaning alternatives, including ultrasonic scaling, laser-assisted periodontal therapy, and air polishing.

How can I make deep cleaning less painful?

Dentists generally use a numbing agent or local anesthesia to increase the patient's comfort during deep cleaning.

Is it painful to get a deep dental cleaning?

Although some patients may face discomfort and sensitivity during deep cleaning, the procedure is generally well-tolerated and not overly painful. The use of anesthesia and advanced techniques makes the procedure bearable.

Are there any risks or disadvantages associated with deep cleaning?

Deep cleaning, like any dental procedure, carries certain risks and disadvantages. These can include temporary sensitivity, gum tenderness, and mild bleeding.

In rare cases, infection or damage to tooth roots may occur. However, these risks are minimal, and the benefits of deep cleaning in managing gum disease and maintaining oral health typically outweigh any potential drawbacks.


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