What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, is a non-surgical dental procedure used to treat gum disease. It differs from typical teeth cleanings as it involves removing the plaque and tartar buildup from below the gum line and smoothing out the tooth roots to prevent further bacterial growth.
This deep cleaning is often recommended for those with early-stage gum disease. Our Staten Island dentists will help you achieve healthy gums and avoid the progression of gum disease.
The Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
For those showing signs of early-stage gum disease, dental scaling and root planing can provide you with the following benefits:
- Prevents periodontal disease from progressing into periodontitis
- Reduces the risk of tooth loss or loose teeth
- Eliminates bad breath
- Improves overall oral health
- Can save you money on future dental treatments
When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?
Scaling and root planing are necessary when there’s an excessive build-up of plaque and tartar that has caused gum inflammation, bleeding, and even bone loss. A deep cleaning may be recommended if:
- There’s moderate to severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis.
- There’s a significant amount of plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gum tissue.
- There’s bleeding, inflammation, and recession of the gums.
- When there are deep pockets between the teeth and gums that have formed due to gum disease.
- When teeth have shifted due to periodontal disease.
If the gum disease gets left untreated, it can result in further advancement or lead to other health problems.
How the Scaling and Root Planing Process Works
Our Staten Island dentist will start by evaluating the extent of periodontal disease through X-rays and measurements of the gum pockets. If there’s enough tartar present or your gums are unhealthy, your dentist may suggest scaling and root planing. A local anesthetic is often used to numb the area, ensuring your comfort.
Depending on the severity of your gum disease, you may need more than one appointment. Our Staten Island dentist will let you know how extensive it is and if you’ll need multiple scaling and root planing treatments.
Scaling is the removal of calculus and plaque attached to the tooth’s surface. The main area of this treatment is below the gum line where the tooth is most at risk. Ultrasonic instruments clean close to the tooth root for precision and efficiency.
During the process, an irrigation device is typically used to remove infection or plaque while injecting an antimicrobial agent at the same time. This helps prevent further infection and assists with the natural healing process.
Root planing is a process designed to remove cementum and surface dentine embedded in tartar. Unwanted microorganisms and toxins can also be found in tartar deposits, which need to be removed. After this removal, the tooth root surfaces are smoothed out to promote healing and prevent bacteria colonization.
Your dentist may use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to flush out any remaining bacteria.
Scaling and Root Planing Aftercare
After your scaling and root planing procedure, you’ll want to do the following:
- Follow a good oral hygiene routine, including daily brushing and flossing.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash as prescribed by your dentist.
- Avoid eating hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for a few days.
- Attend regular dental checkups to monitor your oral health.
It’s imperative to follow the steps mentioned above to avoid periodontal disease from resurfacing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is scaling and root planing painful?
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment that causes little to no discomfort. Before treatment, your dentists will apply a local anesthetic to ensure the gums are numb for a pain-free procedure. Once the treatment is complete, it’s normal to experience mild tenderness in your gums.
How long does scaling and root planing take?
The entire treatment lasts about one or two hours, eliminating your gum infection with minimal inconvenience. If your case is severe and the infection is widespread, the procedure may take longer or require multiple visits to the dentist’s office. Your dentist will examine the condition of your oral health and will provide an estimated timeline.
Can a scaling and root planing treatment cure gum disease?
Scaling and root planing can help manage gum disease, but it’s not a cure. It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Does insurance cover scaling and root planing treatment?
Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of scaling & root planing, but it’s best to check with your provider to confirm your coverage. If the coverage isn’t enough, ask your dentist if their office provides special discounts or financing options.
How often do you need scaling and root planing?
Typically, one scaling and root planing session is enough to get rid of your bacterial infection and get your oral health back on track. With a proper oral hygiene routine and regular visits to the dentist, you can protect yourself against the infection returning. If your gum disease comes back, it’s vital to get treatment as soon as possible, before it becomes difficult to manage.
Reverse Your Periodontal Disease With Our Staten Island Dentists
We can effectively treat periodontal disease with scaling and root planing. This treatment will help improve your gum health and prevent tooth loss. If you suspect having gum disease, seek prompt treatment from our Staten Island dentists. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!
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