Gross Debridement Cleanings

Restore Your Oral Health and Smile

When you think about dental hygiene, regular brushing, flossing, and biannual checkups probably come to mind. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, a deeper level of cleaning is needed to maintain optimal oral health. This is where gross debridement cleanings come in.

What Is a Gross Debridement Cleaning?

A gross debridement cleaning, also known as a “gross scale,” is a type of deep cleaning performed by a dental hygienist or dentist. It’s typically done when a patient has not had a dental cleaning in a long time, and there’s a significant buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums.

During a full mouth debridement procedure, the dental professional will use specialized instruments to remove the buildup of plaque, tartar, and other debris from the teeth and gums. This process may take longer than a typical dental cleaning and may be more uncomfortable for the patient due to the amount of buildup that needs to be removed.

Debridement cleanings aren’t a substitute for normal dental cleanings. It’s typically the first step in treating severe periodontal disease or when a patient has neglected their dental hygiene for a long period.

dentists performing a dental procedure on a patient.

The Benefits of Gross Debridement Cleanings

There are several benefits to gross debridement cleanings, including:

  • Removes plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line
  • Helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay
  • Promotes healthy gums and teeth
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents infection and promotes healing
  • Improves overall oral health and hygiene
  • Helps maintain a bright and healthy smile

When Gross Debridement Cleaning Is Necessary

Gross debridement cleaning is typically recommended when there’s excessive plaque and tartar buildup that hasn’t been addressed through regular cleanings. This can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. Debridement cleanings may be necessary for patients who haven’t had a dental cleaning in a while or who have neglected their oral hygiene.

Your dentist may recommend this type of cleaning if you have:

  • Excessive plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Loose teeth or changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Receding gums or teeth that appear longer than normal
  • Pus or other signs of infection around the teeth or gums

How a Debridement Cleaning Works

Full mouth debridement cleanings involve several steps to ensure thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums. The process typically takes between one to four hours to complete and involves the following steps:

  1. Evaluation: The first step in the gross debridement cleaning process is an evaluation of your oral health. This will typically include x-rays and an examination of your teeth, gums, and periodontal pockets.
  2. Scaling: The next step is scaling, which involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line using specialized tools.
  3. Root Planing: Once scaling is complete, your dentist will move on to root planing, which involves smoothing out the roots of your teeth to prevent further plaque buildup.
  4. Antibacterial Rinse: After scaling and root planing, your dentist will use an antibacterial rinse to remove any remaining bacteria and promote healing.
  5. Post-cleaning evaluation: The dental professional will evaluate the patient’s oral health again after the cleaning is complete to determine if any additional treatments, such as fluoride treatment or periodontal therapy, are necessary. They may also provide recommendations for at-home oral hygiene care and schedule the patient for regular dental cleanings to maintain good oral health.

The process can be uncomfortable for some patients, but your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area and make the procedure more comfortable.

dentist performing a deep cleaning for a patient

Caring for Your Teeth After Your Debridement Cleaning

After the mouth debridement cleaning procedure, follow your dentist’s instructions for maintaining proper oral hygiene. This may include avoiding hard or crunchy foods, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and practicing good oral hygiene habits to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

The Cost of a Gross Debridement Cleaning

The cost of gross debridement cleaning varies depending on the extent of the procedure, your dental insurance coverage, and the location of your dental practice. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to better understand your coverage and determine out-of-pocket expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a gross debridement cleaning painful?
How long does gross debridement cleaning take?
Can I get dental sedation while undergoing a gross debridement cleaning procedure?
Can I eat after gross debridement cleaning?
Is a gross debridement cleaning painful?

The gross debridement cleaning procedure itself isn’t typically painful since your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic. You may experience discomfort or sensitivity during and after the procedure, such as soreness or tenderness in the gums. This discomfort should subside within a few days after the procedure. If you experience any severe pain or bleeding after the procedure, contact your dentist right away.

How long does gross debridement cleaning take?

The length of time for a gross debridement cleaning procedure can vary depending on the extent of the cleaning needed and the individual patient’s oral health. Generally, the procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. Your dentist can give you a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

Can I get dental sedation while undergoing a gross debridement cleaning procedure?

It’s possible to receive dental sedation during a gross debridement cleaning procedure, depending on the individual patient’s needs and preferences. Your dentist can discuss your sedation options and determine the best approach to ensure your comfort during the procedure. It’s important to let your dentist know if you have any concerns or anxiety about the procedure, as they can work with you to create a comfortable and stress-free environment for your dental visit.

Can I eat after gross debridement cleaning?

Yes, you can eat after a gross debridement cleaning procedure. However, it’s important to wait until any numbness from the procedure has worn off before consuming any hot liquids or solid foods, as you may accidentally burn yourself.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that may irritate your gums or teeth for the first few days after the procedure. Your dentist can provide specific instructions on what foods to avoid and how to care for your teeth and gums after the procedure.

Discover What Our Seattle Dentist Can Do for You

Gross debridement cleanings are an important procedure for maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re experiencing excessive plaque and tartar buildup or other oral health issues, talk to your dentist about whether gross debridement cleaning is right for you. If you’re in the Seattle area and think you may need a gross debridement cleaning, consult with our dentist to determine the best course of action.

Our dentist is willing to help you get the dental care you need, schedule now!