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Dental cleaning can mean several different things: there is a "regular cleaning" and then there is a "deep cleaning". The following information will help you understand the difference between these procedures, as well as implications that  each of these procedures have when it comes to your oral health.

What is a Regular Cleaning?

Prophylaxis, which is also known as regular cleaning,  is probably what you think of when consider going for a dental checkup. During a regular cleaning the dentist will remove plaque, calculus (hardened plaque) and stains from teeth.

This cleaning occurs only on the visible part of the tooth, meaning the dentist will not go underneath your gums to clean out any material, because for the typical, healthy  patient is not necessary. In our office, we’ll pair your regular cleanings (recommended twice a y ear) with oral exam by the dentist and updates on x-rays as needed. We also check the health of your gums and surrounding tissues at these visits, which take about one hour.

It's important to understand that regular cleaning is only recommended for patients who have generally good dental health and do not suffer from bone loss or gum problems (bleeding, recession, infection, etc.)

Watch this video to lear about plaque, calculus and how it can affect teeth.

Deep Cleaning or Scaling & Root Planning

Scaling & root planning (aka deep cleaning) is a procedure needed if you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. This treatment is quite different from prophylaxis. Deep cleaning involves removal of tartar, bacteria, toxic deposits from the root of a tooth.

Many people can have periodontal disease and not even know it.

Symptoms include:

  • bleeding gums

  • bad breath

  • receding gums

  • swollen/red gums.


However, many people do not notice any symptoms at all. That’s why it may come as a surprise when your dentist recommends scaling & root planing instead of a regular cleaning. It’s important to understand that this procedure is vital to getting periodontal disease under control & avoid future tooth loss.

Watch this video to lear about the difference between a regular dental cleaning (prophy) and deep cleaning ( scaling and root planning).

Dental Cleanings and Examinations for Children

Our dental team works with patients of all ages and knows how to make our youngest patients feel comfortable while in the dental chair. Families all over Illinois visit our dental office to for their child to receive a proper teeth cleaning. We advise that teeth cleanings and exams begin from a very young age. It helps to ensure that baby teeth grow in properly and remain healthy, and the child will get used to building healthy oral hygiene habits. People often underestimate how important healthy baby teeth are. Cavities and gum disease can affect children, just like adults. The difference is that children are less capable of understanding or dealing with discomfort. We advise parents throughout Chicago to  bring their children for dental  exams and cleanings regularly,  twice a year. This way cavities can be prevented by removing harmful plaque and bacteria. And of course, less cavities equals less stress for the child. 

While performing the teeth cleaning, our team will be sure to practice gentle dentistry. Our staff knows how to build a connection with our young patients and make them feel more relaxed during their dental appointments. Many parents say that visiting the dentist at Archer Dental becomes fun instead of stressful.

Here is another tip for the parents: read some stories about going to the dentist and play games by teaching children how to examine their toy's teeth.

These little steps guarantee to make your child feel comfortable when getting their own teeth cleaned. Doing so twice a year guarantees that the  baby teeth are more likely to stay in until they are supposed to fall out, and their adult teeth will also stay healthier. If you have questions about scheduling an appointment for your child call 773-581-1345.

Sensitive Teeth

At Archer Dental Chicago, we provide teeth cleanings for patients even with the most sensitive teeth with comfort. We practice gentle dentistry with all of out patients. Many adults tend to avoid visiting the dentist because they are concerned that their teeth will hurt during the exam and dental cleaning. Working with the right dentist will help you feel comfortable regardless of how sensitive your teeth are. We offer various sedation methods so that you do not have to feel pain or anxiety during your dental exams and cleanings. Whether you need something to relax or pain relief medication, we can create a treatment plan that includes sedation so that you can remain comfortable.

It's important that adults living in Chicago understand the reason why become sensitive. Often, enamel on the outside of the teeth wears down and causes sensitivity. Enamel can wear down due to age, acidic foods, and improper oral health care. Yes, brushing with desensitizing toothpaste can help,  but  visiting the dentist will help find the cause of your sensitivity and treat it as soon as possible. If the issues are not addressed the sensitivity will increase. Let us know about any discomfort you are feeling so that your dentist can discuss ways to alleviate it.

Dental Glossary
Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work that improves the appearance of patient's teeth/gums/bite.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants is a thin protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the teeth to prevent cavities in those areas. 

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry focuses on maintaining oral health in order to prevent the spread tooth decay and infections in the mouth.


Tooth decay is damage to the enamel of the tooth caused by acids from bacteria on the surface of the tooth. Decay can lead to sensitivity, cavity or infections ir left untreated.

Dental Checkup

Dental checkup appointment involves examination of teeth, identifying any signs of infection and removing them and a thorough cleaning of the teeth. 

Tooth Enamel

Enamel is hard, outer surface layer of the tooth that protects the inner and softer layers of the tooth.