When Your Dentist Tells You That You Need A Gross Debridement

Dental cleaning is a common aspect of any regular checkup. But what about when your checkups haven't been as regular as they should have been? If it has been some years since you last visited your dentist (or even some decades), they might take a look inside your mouth and tell you that you're in need of a gross debridement. No, your dentist isn't telling you that your mouth is gross, and in this context, a gross debridement is the large scale removal of problematic compounds (such as plaque, tartar, and oral bacteria). Because this is more intensive than a standard cleaning, you might be wondering what a gross debridement involves. 

Plaque and Tartar

A gross debridement can be essential for your dentist to even identify certain issues. When the accumulation of plaque and tartar hasn't been addressed for quite some time, these deposits can prevent your dentist from being able to properly assess the state of your teeth. As such, a gross debridement will often start with scaling, using an electric scaling tool, to instantly remove plaque and tartar. 

Potential Discomfort

The scraping itself can be uncomfortable, and perhaps this potential discomfort was one of the reasons why you avoided the dentist for so long. Please don't hesitate to discuss this with your dentist, and a local anesthetic can be given to numb your mouth. 

Below the Gum Line

A true debridement also addresses those parts of your teeth that you cannot access yourself, which are the portions of the tooth below the gum line, along with the tooth's roots. These parts of the procedure are known as subgingival cleaning and root planing, but these forms of cleaning might not immediately be appropriate for you. When gingivitis is present, the inflammation (and possible bleeding) at the gum line must be addressed. 

When Gingivitis Is a Problem

The dental scaling you're already received will have some effect against your gingivitis, but for some people, gross debridement takes place in several stages. Your dentist might opt to wait until your gingivitis is under control (antibiotics can be needed) before cleaning beneath the gum line.

You might experience some temporary sensitivity after a gross debridement. A small amount of bleeding can also be possible when gingivitis is present. It's not going to be the most pleasurable thing you've ever experienced, but a gross debridement can usually be avoided by keeping up with your dental appointments.

For more information, contact a clinic like Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.