Wicker Park Dental Group

Teeth Cleaning: Routine Dental Cleaning vs. Deep Teeth Cleaning

July 25, 2022
Posted By: Wicker Park Dental Group

When was the last time you visited your dentist? If it's been over six months, you're likely due for teeth cleaning. Wicker Park Dental Group offers quality dental services, like routine and deep teeth cleaning, to keep the teeth and gums strong, healthy, and attractive. Call (773) 276-5566 or message us online to learn more about our highly-rated services.

While some people believe routine dental cleaning (prophylaxis) and deep dental cleaning (scaling and root planing) are the same, they are relatively different. Here, we outline the significant difference between these two common teeth cleaning treatments:


The American Academy of Periodontology encourages adults to visit the dentist annually for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE). However, we understand that this is not always possible for everyone. Whether you sit in the dentist's chair every six months or every few years, your dentist will take a moment to evaluate your gum health to determine which type of teeth cleaning you need:

Regular dental cleanings help maintain healthy gums. Generally speaking, a balanced combination of teeth cleaning every six months, brushing, and flossing keeps bacteria at bay and the gums free of disease.

On the other hand, deep teeth cleaning is needed when there are significantly more bacteria and tartar build-up. Over time, periodontal pockets can form and fill with bacteria and tartar. When it is not removed via scaling and root planing, a wide range of oral health complications, like periodontal disease and tooth loss, may arise.


Before both types of teeth cleaning, your dental team member will discuss one's dental history, medical history, and gum health. Then, your dentist will use a unique tool to measure your gum sockets' depth and pencil in the measurements on your periodontal chart. After analyzing your gums, your dentist will suggest either type of teeth cleaning.

During prophylaxis, your dental hygienist gently removes built-up bacteria and tartar from the surface of the teeth and between the teeth and gums.

On the other hand, during scaling and root planing, your dental team member will:

  1. Scale: Apply an ultrasonic device to manually scrape plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth
  2. Polish: Use a gritty toothpaste and air polisher to smooth out the dental surface
  3. Floss: Penetrate and clean between the teeth
  4. Fluoride Treatment: Remineralize enamel

What type of teeth cleaning do I need?

After a straightforward evaluation of your gum health, your Chicago dentist will determine which method of teeth cleaning will benefit you the most. During the exam, your dentist will probe the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums:

  • If your gum pockets are shallow, your dentist will likely suggest routine dental cleaning.
  • If your gum pockets are on the deeper end, then your dentist will need to perform deep teeth cleaning instead of routine teeth cleaning.

Ask Our Wicker Park Dental Group Team About Our Various Teeth Cleaning Methods

It's challenging to determine which type of teeth cleaning you need without the help of a talented dental professional. Whether you would benefit from a routine dental cleaning or scaling and root planing session, our talented dentists can evaluate your oral health to make the best decision possible. Contact Wicker Park Dental Group to learn more about teeth cleaning in Chicago. Call (773) 276-5566 or message us online.

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (773) 276-5566
View the ADA Accessibility Statement