My dentist is pushing for me to to get deep cleaning, or periodontal treatment. I apparently have a couple spots where deep pockets have formed between tooth and gum (4 mm, one spot is 5). I'm highly skeptical. I suspect they are pushing an expensive procedure. They've shown me the test numbers and they do show a slight increase over 3 years. But I still want to know how beneficial this process really is. Anyone else have any experience?

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Tags: cleaning, dental, extraction, gums, implant, teeth, tooth

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Well, I suppose it's not something I'll worry about. My resting heart rate is 48. I can jump on a bicycle and ride over a 10,000' mountain pass. Any day of the week. The only thing systematically inflamed is my aching quads after a 6 hour bike race. :)

Yes, I have had a procedure done on two separate occasions, but it didn't include a deep cleaning, it was just treating the pockets. I have dental insurance, and my out of pocket expense was just a $10 copay. It really isn't much of a procedure, though. The hygenist performed it on me and she just injected some gel in the pockets with a plastic syringe type instrument. It didn't hurt, and all of the areas she treated improved with the exception of 1. I had the one area re-treated two weeks ago and will find out how that worked in March. Good luck.


Joe, as usual, I agree with bsc on this one, while also reminding you that drsoosie's first response included the caveat of not knowing your specific case.

If you are still conflicted and unable to make a decision based upon the comments posted, make an appointment with another provider. smileandnod sought a second opinion, you should too. That may be problematic given your relatively rural locale, but do not underestimate the value of the option.

The overarching objective of scaling and planing is not to send the provider to the Mediterranean. It is one major tool in the PROCESS of getting your mouth to be less expensive to maintain over the long haul. Yes, it is expensive, but undergoing scaling and planing NOW, and following with proper ongoing maintenance, minimizes the likelihood of having to undergo scaling and planing again in the future. ("Proper" maintenance being floss AND a proxybrush, and brushing with a good electric toothbrush after every meal. If you don't use an electric now, get one -- aggressive brushing with a manual can cause further damage to the tissues.)

Good luck.

I had it done once and glad I did as it helped me get back on track. I still have one 5 on a crown area near my molars and it is a bugger to reach to get food out of between the teeth. I do my best. I have had the dentist measure my numbers in problem areas too as a second check from the hygienist. Perhaps droosie does that too.

I feel there is a difference in hygienists too as some do a more thorough cleaning. Not that I dont take some blame in always brushing and flossing too.

In any event the more aggressive you can be in brushing, rinsing, and flossing helps. I have also added using a stimulator.

I have reversed many of my 5's.

Good luck.


I know I'm a little late to the conversation but I'm kind of in the same boat. have type 1 diabetes and my gums are in not great shape. Had part of a deep cleaning done and heard lots of 5's and 6's. The dentist told me there was a possibility of needing to get a gum graft. A family member was told they also need one and got a price estimate of around $10,000 for the procedure. I contacted my health insurance and they told me that if I can get my doctor to provide something to show medical necessity my health insurance would cover it. My Endocrinologist says we could certainly make a case for the medical necessity of the gum grafting with regard to potential adverse effects of untreated gum disease on diabetes control. There is quite a bit of literature on the topic that would support this. Maybe the same can be said for your deep cleaning requirement. Can't hurt just to ask your health insurance company & your specialist or PCP.




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