Deep cleaning before fillings? Why?

J

JustMe2011

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Jul 2, 2021
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Hi! I have major major dental anxiety that has prevented me from going to the dentist pretty much ever in my adult life. I have finally forced myself to go due to a cavity in a visible front tooth, which I had filled (yay me!) I have explained to my dentist that I’m trying to work my way up to the bigger issues of wisdom teeth by taking small steps with the few fillings I need. After filling the initial tooth, he told me that before I can get any more fillings, I must have a deep cleaning. He didn’t explain what it was for or why it was different than a regular cleaning. I made the appointment thinking it was no big deal, but then I went home and did a Google search. I am terrified. This sounds like another procedure I need to work up to! I would much rather get another filling or two first, now that I have that experience, and build confidence.

Is it really necessary that the deep cleaning happen before other fillings? Why would that be? After all, I already had one done before the cleaning. Why would these others be different? It sounds painful, which makes me extremely anxious. Also I leave for multi-day work thing two days later. Will I still be sore? Why can’t I just get the fillings done?? Can the dentist refuse to treat anything else before this is done?

Thank you to anyone who read these ramblings of fear and much appreciation to anyone who can give me any information.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Short answer... because the gums are inflamed. This makes doing the fillings much more difficult and they're not likely to be done so well or last so long.

The deep cleaning/regular cleaning thing is a strange consequence of the frequently bizarre US insurance system, in the rest of the world there's no such distinction.

You shouldn't be sore afterwards, nothing that a mild painkiller like paracetamol won't fix.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Hi JustMe2011 👋

congratulations on finding the courage to see dentist - it sounds like you're doing really well!!

So sorry to hear about Doctor Google scaring the living daylights out of you. Some wise people on here keep saying not to listen to him, but of course, that's almost impossible unless you've had a curiosity bypass. We've actually got a page on deep cleaning right here on this website which explains things in hopefully not-too-scary terms:

 
J

JustMe2011

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Jul 2, 2021
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Thank you guys for you replies. Another question. I have a molar that need extraction. Will they do the cleaning around that particular tooth? That makes me very nervous! Even though it’s in very bad shape (obviously if it requires extraction) it doesn’t cause me pain, and I’m afraid this will inflame it and make it hurt.
 
L

LauraQ68

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Apr 27, 2021
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I had a deep cleaning recently. The hygienist used a numbing gel on my teeth before starting. It was not painful and really not even uncomfortable. It was like a regular cleaning. I was quite surprised. I had no major soreness afterwards and didn’t even need Tylenol. Do not fear a deep cleaning! The results are amazing and can give you a fresh start to your dental health.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Yes, they'll probably (hopefully) clean round it too. Healthier gums result in faster and better healing of the socket after the extraction.
 
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