What is a “deep cleaning”?

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We are finding that in our efforts (the dental profession) to help non dentists understand what we are doing, we have created misunderstandings. The truth is, there is no such thing as a “deep cleaning” in a dental office.

A dental office is either cleaning teeth (polishing them up, removing stains, etc) or providing periodontal therapy. This therapy is often called a “deep cleaning” but that isn’t really what is done. The goal here is to remove what is called the bio-film from below the gum line. The bio film is a collection of plaque and bacteria and can create an inflammatory response from your body. Chronic inflammation can affect your whole body, and periodontal disease destroys bone around the teeth. If left untreated, you will lose teeth. If left untreated, you could die (I know, it sounds like an exaggeration, but just ask Whoopi Goldberg)

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The process for periodontal therapy WILL make a person’s teeth clean, and the process IS deeper than a “regular” cleaning, to call it a “deep cleaning” is not truly accurate…

Sometimes we get patients that will request a “regular” cleaning when a “deep cleaning” was recommended. While it would seem logical that you could request that, the laws are clear that the dental health care provider cannot violate standard of care, and a patient is not capable to waive the standard of care. Legal precedent has been set, and if a dentist has diagnosed gum disease, therapy must be performed even if a patient requests otherwise.

It is similar to a physician diagnosing an infection in your lungs. He cannot simply give an aromatherapy candle and ignore the infection. The patient has the right to decline care and leave, but the doctor cannot ignore the infection.

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Dr Timmerman does not tolerate mediocre care.  He does not allow insurance plans to dictate treatment and he does not ignore pathology.  When disease exists, he recommends treatment.  He allows people to choose a compromise if it fits within his value system, but will never act below the standard of care.  If you are like minded, if you want the best care for you and your family, give us a call.

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