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Deep Cleaning needed - terrified!

P

Pippy

Junior member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Ireland
Hi

I recently went to dentist as I broke a tooth and dentist told me I need a filling and a deep clean as I have early stage gum disease. I made a follow up appointment to get the filling and the first session of deep cleaning done - but getting more terrified as the day get near. I have now cancelled the deep cleaning as the thought of what they will be doing is just terrifying me. I read the article here on deep cleaning, but it doesn't really explain how they get up under the gum and this is the bit that terrifies me. can anyone give me more detail? do they cut the gums? pull them away from the teeth? ah the thought of either of those ...... any help/info appreciated. (p.s. I am not dentist phobic - but not too far away from it following an experience years ago). thanks.
 
B

Beamish

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
39
Location
UK
Hi Pippy!

I had my first visit to the dentist for ages last August. I had absolutly loads of tartar build up around my teeth for years but was too scared to get anything done about it. However my gums were all red, and at first I could hide it by not smiling very much, then however the tartar was causing my teeth to become stained and I couldn't take it any longer and made the appointment. The dentist I initially saw scared me a bit (I think on purpose as I tried to make light of it and pretend there wasn't much wrong), into seeing a hygienist for a deep clean.

I was scared and cried all that day, but I knew I wanted to make my mouth better so I went (and took a friend along). I came out smiling so much!!!! I had some tartar under my gumline so it would be uncomfortable to have it cleaned and so had some local anaesthetic injections. It had been years since I had injections of any sort but they were fine. I had a slight little pinch but nothing horrible. I was really picturing the worst, I sort of imagined that my gums would be held open or something, and that it would feel really strange having someone play about with my teeth. But actually my hygienist was really lovely, she just wanted to help me. And there was nothing horrible at all really. There was only me and her in the room, and when she was working on my teeth there was only the sound of her using the sonic thing, and as I had some anaesthetic all I could feel was a bit of pressure. There was a cool drizzle/spray of water in my mouth and the sucky thing to take the excess water away. She didn't do anything horrible to my teeth and gums, she gave them a good clean but just a bit deeper than a normal clean.

After the deep clean there was a tiny bit of bleeding but no more than when I had brushed my teeth. No cuts at all or anything. I took a paracetamol before the anaesthetic wore off but I'm not sure if I even needed it as my mouth felt okay. The next week after the first go I went back to have the rest of my mouth done (only had one quadrant done first as I was scared and same as you, I didn't know what to expect, so we agreed I'd give it a go and see how it went - I would have agreed to have the rest done the first visit if I'd known how okay it would be and if the hygienist had the time).

After those initial deep clean visits I went back after a few weeks to see how things were going. I didn't need any anaesthetic any more but she did clean off some of the tartar above the gumline that she hadn't had time to get rid of before.

All in all now my gums are looking sooooo much better. They are the colour they are supposed to be now and are nice and close up against my teeth. Sadly I could have got it seen to sooner as I do have about 1-2mm of recession on a couple of my top teeth, but the amazing thing is that the hygienist has said I will keep my teeth for life if I keep looking after them. I used to always clean my teeth in the morning, but I used a manual brush and didn't really clean for as long as I should. I also used to eat a lot of snacks/drinks before bed and not clean them, and I never flossed. I had panic attacks about my teeth so I used to try to pretend they didn't exist as much as I could.

After my deep cleans I got into a good routine of cleaning with an electronic toothbrush and then clean in between my teeth with interdental brushes (I LOVE these things!) in the morning and then use Corsodyl (used it for about 3 months while undergoing cleaning/healing). Brushed after work and then before bed I'd brush, interdental brush too, then Corsodyl, then floss (felt like I really wanted to). I am not quite as stringent with mouthwash now but I love my electronic toothbrush and I hate the feel of too much plaque on my teeth or food in between them. After almost every meal I use my interdental brush just because I want to.

Ooops I've just realised I'm rambling a lot XD. I'll just end by saying don't worry at all about the deep clean. Honestly the things you are thinking in your mind are much much worse than they will be. They won't be cutting into your gums or anything too horrible. You'll come out of it and your teeth will be fine and so much cleaner and nicer feeling. I wish you all the best and hope it goes alright!

Beamish
 
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J

Jaylah

Former Member
Hi Pippy! :welcome:


No, they do not cut the gums or anything like that. :)

You know that "ultrasound scaler" thing they use (it kind of squirts out water) just to do a regular cleaning?

They use that same thing. It's just that they go a bit deeper with it.

And that's why they normally use a local anesthetic when they do it. But a lot of it depends on how deep they need to go. If the gum disease isn't too far advanced, they may be able to just use a bit of topical anesthetic.

I've just recently had it done and I can assure you that it doesn't hurt at all. If it does, just tell your dentist that and he can give you a bit more anesthesia...either local or topical.

Your gums will probably be a bit tender right after the procedure, but they'll basically be back to normal the next day. Just be very gentle brushing your teeth that first night.

Hope this helps allay your fears and you'll call and make another appointment.
 
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B

Beamish

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
39
Location
UK
Jaylah made it sound much better without me giving my life's story hehehe. Yep that's all they did with me, just cleaning down a little deeper than normal, mouth felt absolutley fine the next day. The only difference was there was no tartar and my tongue couldn't stop feeling my newly clean teeth! :jump:
 
P

Pippy

Junior member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Ireland
Wow Beamish .... that's some reply! thank you so much for taking the time to share; :) I too use those interdental brushes, carry one with me everywhere!! I'm paranoid about my teeth and disgusted with myself that I now have gum disease. I use to dream (have nightmares!) about all my teeth falling out .... so gum disease really is my worst nightmare.!

... and Jaylah thank you too - really helpful to read; I've never seen or had one of those ultrasound scalers? but you make it sound not too bad! I'm going for my proper filling on Friday (I've a temp filling in currently) and so will discuss the deep clean again, and maybe I'll find the courage to make another appointment for the cleaning if I survive the filling!!:censored:

thank you both again - really encouraging posts.

I'll post how I get on!

Pippy. ;D
 
P

Pippy

Junior member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
6
Location
Ireland
ah thanks Jaylah - could I ask one more question? I'm still wondering/worried about how they get in under the gums to do a deep clean? do they pull the gums up/away from the tooth?

thanks for all the advice/help.

Pippy.
 
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J

Jaylah

Former Member
I'm still wondering/worried about how they get in under the gums to do a deep clean? do they pull the gums up/away from the tooth?
Pippy.

No.

Have you ever gotten a popcorn hull stuck part-way under your gum? It's really just like that.

Even if your dentist doesn't have an ultrasonic scaler (hmmm, do you go to the Flintstone's dentist? ;)) he'll use a regular manual scaler and just go a bit deeper under the gums. It's going to be like cleaning under your fingernails. You don't remove your fingernails after you've been out gardening do you? ;D

You are basically just having a regular tooth cleaning, but he's going to go just a bit deeper.

As I said, depending on how deep he needs to go, he may either use topical gel on your gums, or possibly even give you some Novocaine. But, whatever, it should not hurt at all. If it does, tell him it hurts, and he will go to the next level of anesthesia (either topical or local).

Your gums will be a bit tender (notice I said a bit tender...not "screaming in agony") for the rest of the day, but should basically feel normal by the next morning. You said you had "early stage gum disease" so he may not even need to go deep enough to use any anesthetic at all.
 
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kitkat

kitkat

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From my understanding of it, the cleaning probe is designed so that it is able to slip in under the gum-line easily, also, ultrasonic probes send out tiny vibrations that travel to break up any calculus under the gums. I read in an article that the the pockets in the gums are areas where the gums are detaching from the teeth and these are the areas below the gum-line that are being cleaned so the probe can access these areas relatively easily. I'm not a dentist so others please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
carole

carole

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Hi Kitkat, are you well.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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No.

Have you ever gotten a popcorn hull stuck part-way under your gum? It's really just like that.

Even if your dentist doesn't have an ultrasonic scaler (hmmm, do you go to the Flintstone's dentist? ;)) he'll use a regular manual scaler and just go a bit deeper under the gums. It's going to be like cleaning under your fingernails. You don't remove your fingernails after you've been out gardening do you? ;D

I like the fingernail example Jaylah! That's probably the best comparison.

Hi Carole, I'm doing much better for now. I've had a lot to keep my mind busy before my appointment on Tuesday and am feeling relatively calm about it at the moment. :cool: Thanks for asking!
 
S

starladustangel

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
27
Hi Pippy!

I had deep cleaning/scaling and root planing done for gum disease done at the beginning of February. It was done over the course of two appointments. They numbed my mouth very well and while it was not the most enjoyable thing ever it was not painful. Any time I had a little pain they added more topical gel. My hygenist was awesome. I went back in March for a follow up and they polished my teeth and checked my gums. My gums have gotten so much better since the cleaning by following good home care. I floss and brush daily and am very happy with my teeth and gums. It was worth the anxiety.
 
J

Jaylah

Former Member
From my understanding of it, the cleaning probe is designed so that it is able to slip in under the gum-line easily, also, ultrasonic probes send out tiny vibrations that travel to break up any calculus under the gums. I read in an article that the the pockets in the gums are areas where the gums are detaching from the teeth and these are the areas below the gum-line that are being cleaned so the probe can access these areas relatively easily. I'm not a dentist so others please correct me if I'm wrong.

That's it exactly.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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I have to add, and I think you will find this comforting Pippy, that for the longest time I did not realize (that at least for a regular cleaning) that the the ultrasonic cleaner was actually touching my teeth! My initial impression was that it was only spraying water at the gums and teeth similar to a waterpik. I learned from youtube awhile back how the tool actually works and ever since I found out that it actually touches my teeth and gums it makes me a little nervous! :rolleyes: Ignorance is truly bliss sometimes...I was much happier thinking it was a waterpik BUT the point is it feels like a waterpik which is what is important (unless you dislike waterpiks...then my apologies for making things worseo_O)!
 
kitkat

kitkat

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:rolleyes: Ignorance is truly bliss sometimes...

so true Kitkat!! was much easier going into the first session than the second!!!

I hope all is well with you Pippy! I was thinking of you today while I had my teeth scaled with the ultrasonic scaler...my dentist at one point asked for some fancy named tip and then intentionally held it out of sight line and then hesitated and said "you might feel this a little..." o_O I thought first "feel WHAT a little?!" and then thought "do I even WANT TO KNOW what's about to happen right now?!" Luckily whatever she did wasn't bad...she said she just changed to a curved tip to get at the hard to reach places but she thought I may have more sensitivity with it. She made me REALLY nervous with that statement although I do appreciate the warning! I'm always torn between how much I want to know and don't want to know.
 
carole

carole

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I'm with you on that one Kitkat, it's a very fine line we tread, too little and panic, too much and we run, dentists can't win really. :giggle:
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Yep! And that line is different for everybody!
 
M

mom2jennifer

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Mar 23, 2012
Messages
22
I just had this procedure done about a month ago and was terrified for all the same reasons. There as no cutting and this thing must be just small enough to get under the gums somehow but they didn't cut or do anything at all to my gums. All I had was a topical numbing gel, no injections and found it tolerable. I, too, had the beginnings of gum disease and my gums and teeth now look great. My gums were a little sore that evening and the next day and that was it. Looking at my teeth all clean and gums all healthy is a great feeling. I feel like I totally terrified myself for nothing. They called it a gross debridement when they scheduled me and that is where I think all my fear began. Yes it was a deep cleaning but I way prefer it to all that scraping.
 
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kitkat

kitkat

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Yes it was a deep cleaning but I way prefer it to all that scraping.

Agreed! Somehow I think all of the water makes a difference. Maybe it's just enough to distract the senses and there is less need for actual scraping. The scraping is awful and has a lot to do with my fear of dentists. I've had some rough hygienists in the past before the ultrasonic tool came along. As a kid, that was the main reason I feared cleanings...after the ultrasonic tool was implemented...cleanings were lovely :cloud9:! Well...as lovely as cleanings can be!
 
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