You need regular teeth cleanings for preventing periodontal (gum) disease. However, the condition can be treated with non-surgical procedures, such as scaling and root planing. There is healthy gum tissue around each tooth, spanning 1 to 3mm from the top of the gum line to the base. However, if you are afflicted by plaque or tartar, the health of the tissues is affected, which leads to a greater risk of periodontal disease.
When signs of gum disease start appearing, such as bad breath or unhealthy pocket depths of 4mm, your periodontist from San Ramon might suggest that you undergo root planing and scaling.
Scaling is using instruments to remove the plaque and tartar on the tooth and root. The hygienist usually uses a hand instrument to scrape these away, though ultrasonic tools that employ sonic vibrations to loosen the calculus may also be used. The instruments also dip into the gum and along the root of the tooth to eliminate the plaque and tartar buildup that’s inflaming the gum.
Root planning is when the dentist soothes and smooths the roots of your teeth, ensuring the gums will reattach where they’ve been pulled away to clean. Planing can also attack any difficult spots on the teeth or root that need extra attention.
Who Needs It?
Periodontal scaling and root planing can be used both as a preventative measure and as a stand-alone treatment. These procedures are performed as a preventative measure for a periodontist sufferer.
Here Are Some Reasons Why These Dental Procedures May be Necessary:
- Disease Prevention – The oral bacteria which cause periodontal infections can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Research has shown that lung infections and heart disease have been linked to periodontal bacteria. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria and halts periodontal disease from progressing, thus preventing the bacteria from traveling to other parts of the body.
- Tooth Protection – When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, there is a greater risk of periodontal disease. As pockets deepen, they tend to house more colonies of dangerous bacteria. Eventually, a chronic inflammatory response by the body begins to destroy gingival and bone tissue which may lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the developed world.
- Aesthetic Effects – Scaling and root planing help remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gum line. As an added bonus, if superficial stains are present on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of the scaling and root planing procedure.
- Better Breath – One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is halitosis (bad breath). Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odor in the oral cavity which is alleviated with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing.
How Is The Scaling And Root Planing Procedure Performed?
- Dental Examination : Prior to starting the procedure, the San Ramon Periodontist Dr. Kaeley will first assess the condition of your teeth and gums in detail. During the evaluation, the periodontist places a probe between the gums and teeth for recording the severity of gingival inflammation and the depth of the pockets.
- Cleaning The Teeth and Gums : The procedure is initiated by administering local anesthesia for a painless process. The periodontist will remove calculus and plaque from the tooth surfaces as well as the gingival pockets with ultrasonic instruments. Antibiotic fibers are inserted into the pockets for speeding up the healing process.
- Smoothening The Root Surfaces : Following a thorough cleaning of the gums and teeth, the surface of the tooth roots is smoothened out for preventing further plaque deposits.
How Does It Feel After The Procedure?
You might experience moderate discomfort or slight gum bleeding since the procedure involves only mechanical removal of plaque from the teeth. Pain-killers are generally prescribed for taking care of the pain. Moreover, the dentist may also offer you antibiotics for relieving the periodontal infection. During a follow-up visit, the dentist checks on the status and healing of your gums and pockets. No further treatment is required if the gum tissue has responded well to the treatment and remains stable.
On the other hand, depending on the severity of the periodontal condition, you may have to undergo surgical procedures, performed by a periodontist. This will ensure there is no bone loss. That being said, if you have undergone scaling or root planing, the need for surgery is reduced.
What Are The Benefits Of Scaling And Root Planing Treatment?
For those who suffer from gum disease, root planing and scaling offers many benefits to improve oral health. Root planing and scaling can prevent gum disease from leading to major dental problems and prevent the need for more costly dental work. Some of the many benefits of root planing and scaling treatment include:
- Stops Gum Disease : Root planing and scaling is highly effective at treating gum disease and can help get your gum health back on track.
- Prevents Tooth Loss : Large pockets between the teeth and gums, and infection and decay around the tooth roots can lead to tooth loss. Root planing and scaling can stop these problems before they result in tooth loss.
- Prevents Tooth Decay : Root planing and scaling removes plaque and tartar build up, preventing tooth decay and periodontal pockets.
- Protects The Tooth’s Roots : Root planing and scaling can protect the roots of our teeth when harmful plaque and bacteria begin to build up below the gum line.
- Can Eliminate Bad Breath Associated With Gum Disease : Gum disease and other oral health problems, like tooth decay, can cause chronic bad breath. By treating gum disease, root planing and scaling can help improve bad breath.
Scaling And Root Planing Recovery
It is important you care for your teeth even after correcting gum diseases with scaling and planning. For better scaling and root planing effectiveness, you should always:
- Brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste
- Replace your toothbrush frequently
- Floss daily for cleaning implants, bridge work or crowns
- Get in the habit of using a mouthwash
- Quit or reduce smoking
Brush your teeth thoroughly but gently if the gum tissues are tender. This normally takes a little more time to heal but by the end of the fourth day, you should assume normal oral hygiene techniques. Mouth rinsing with an antimicrobial rinse, or a warm saline rinse is recommended for at least one or two weeks.
Schedule A Consultation with Dr. Kaeley Today!
Dr. Kaeley, one of the best periodontist in the San Francisco Bay Area, shall provide you custom treatment options for your periodontal needs. If you think you might be suffering from gum disease or if your gums are inflamed, bleeding, or sore, schedule an appointment with us immediately. We even offer customized sedation options for our patients in San Ramon who experience anxiety about going to the dentist. We want all of our patients to feel totally relaxed and comfortable during their visits with us.
Gum disease can cause tremendous harm to your overall health and should be treated as soon as possible. After you call, the first step will be for us to setup a time for you to come into our office, meet Dr. Kaeley at Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at San Ramon, CA and discuss your concerns and questions with her. From there, Dr. Kaeley will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that fits your needs and get you back on the road towards optimal health.