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 cleaning comes in.In this helpful guide, West Chester Family Dentist, Dr. Ron Briglia of Briglia Dental Group breaks down what gross debridement cleanings are and when a patient may need one.
What Is a Gross Debridement Cleaning?
A gross debridement cleaning 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 regular 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.
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
Prevents infection and promotes healing
Improves overall oral health and hygiene
Helps maintain a bright and healthy smile
When Gross Debridement Cleanings Are Necessary
Gross debridement cleaning is typically recommended when there’s excessive plaque and tartar buildup that hasn’t been addressed through regular cleanings in many years. This can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues.Our West Chester 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
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:
Evaluation: The first step in the gross debridement cleaning process is an evaluation of your oral health. This will include x-rays and an examination of your teeth, gums, and periodontal pockets.
Scaling: The next step is scaling, which involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line using specialized tools.
Root Planing: Once scaling is complete, Dr. Briglia will move on to root planing, which involves smoothing out the roots of your teeth to prevent further plaque buildup.
Antibacterial Rinse: After scaling and root planing, our dentist will use an antibacterial rinse to remove any remaining bacteria and promote healing.
Post-cleaning evaluation: Dr. Briglia will evaluate the patient’s oral health again after the cleaning is complete to determine if 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 our dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area and make the procedure more comfortable.
Caring for Your Teeth After Your Debridement Cleaning
After you’ve had a debridement cleaning, you’ll want to care for your teeth and gums properly to promote healing and prevent future buildup. Here are some tips for caring for your teeth after a debridement cleaning:
Gentle Brushing: Your gums might be sensitive after the cleaning. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush your teeth twice a day. Ensure you are using fluoride toothpaste to protect against cavities.
Floss Carefully: Floss once a day to remove food particles and plaque between teeth. Be gentle to avoid injuring the gums.
Rinse With an Antimicrobial Mouthwash: Dr. Briglia might recommend using an antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce bacteria in the mouth. This can aid in healing and reduce the risk of infection.
Avoid Harsh Foods: For the first day or two, avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, or spicy. These can irritate your gums or cause discomfort.
Limit Sugary Foods and Beverages: Sugars feed the bacteria in your mouth, which produce acids that can erode enamel and cause cavities.
Use Over-the-counter Pain Relievers: If you experience discomfort, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed. Always consult with Dr. Briglia or your doctor before starting any medication.
Regular Dental Cleanings: To prevent the need for future debridement cleanings, schedule regular dental cleanings as recommended by your dentist. Typically, a cleaning every six months is suggested, but Dr. Briglia may have specific recommendations for you based on your oral health.
Maintain a Good Oral Hygiene Routine: Establishing a consistent oral care routine, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing, will help prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking water helps in washing away food particles and bacteria and can also aid in preventing dry mouth, which can contribute to dental issues.
The Cost of Gross Debridement Cleanings
On average, gross debridement cleanings may cost $75 to $200. The cost will vary depending on the extent of the procedure, your dental insurance coverage, and the location of your dental practice. Check with your insurance provider to better understand your coverage and determine out-of-pocket expenses.
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.
Generally, the procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. 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.
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.
Discover What Our West Chester 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 West Chester area and think you may need a gross debridement cleaning, consult with our dentist by calling (610) 615 0160 if you’re a new patient or (610) 692 4440 if you’re an existing patient. Briglia Dental Group will help you determine the best course of action. Our dentist is willing to help you get the dental care you need, schedule now!
Dr. Ron Briglia has been practicing dentistry since 1984. With decades of experience and extensive continuing education, Dr. Briglia provides the most comprehensive dental services.
He earned his Bachelor of Science from Gannon University and his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Temple University Dental School. He has received advanced training at prestigious organizations like Pankey and Las Vegas Institutes. He is IV and oral sedation-certified too.
Most of Dr. Briglia’s patients have continued with him in his family of patients for over 30 – 35 years, and the restorations he has provided them have lasted for 25-35 years – clear evidence of his skills and expertise.