Scaling & Root Planing
If you are showing signs of gum disease, your dentist or hygienist may suggest adding scaling & root planing, as well as periodontal maintenance checkups, to your regular dental appointments.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing, when used together, are the gold standard for periodontal treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing are dental procedures that are mainly intended for patients with periodontitis (gum disease). Scaling addresses plaque and tartar found on the surface of the teeth, while root planing prevents the build-up of tartar and plaque down the road.
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
While it may sound intimidating, scaling and root planing is an extremely routine procedure with very few risks involved. Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure and can help prevent major complications in the future.
If you have gum disease or require a more in-depth cleaning, scaling and root planing can:
- Prevent bone, tissue, and tooth loss.
- Improve gum health
- Reduce bleeding and inflammation
- Improve chronic bad breath, and
- Improve overall dental and oral health.
Scaling and Root Planing Procedure Overview
Before starting the procedure, the dentist numb your gums so that you won’t have any pain or discomfort.
- The handheld instruments used are a scaler & a curette. By gently scraping the tool along your tooth below the gum line, the dentist can find areas of tartar & plaque buildup.
- Electronic scalers are used to remove plaque & tartar. The tool can chip away tartar & an accompanying water spray washes away the debris as it’s removed.
- In the root planing part of the treatment, the dentist or hygienist smoothes the surface of the tooth root. This makes it harder for plaque and tartar to collect & easier for the gums to reattach.
- Once the procedure is finished, the dentist may apply a disinfectant or antibiotics to further discourage the return of bacteria.
Who Needs Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is recommended for certain patients more than others, especially those showing signs of periodontal disease. Scaling and root planing may be recommended if you have:
- Gum Disease or Periodontitis
- Overall poor dental health, or
- Certain medical conditions that may affect the immune system.
Scaling and Root Planing Home Care Instructions
It is important to continue to care for your teeth and overall dental health after the procedure to prevent the buildup of plaque, tartar, and/or bacteria. Be sure to:
- Brush and floss at least twice a day
- Use mouthwash with antiseptic
- Refrain from smoking and eating foods that negatively affect your teeth
- See your dentist regularly
It is completely normal to experience some sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure; this can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
When Should I See a Dentist for Scaling and Root Planing?
If you experience signs of periodontal disease, it’s a good idea to speak with your dentist about scaling and root planing, among other dental procedures.
The dentists and staff at Lakeview Dental Care are committed to providing all of our patients with the highest-quality dental care. Make an appointment at one of our 6 convenient locations around New Jersey to learn more!