What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is a way that we treat gum infection. The symptoms that someone might experience when they need scaling and root planing could be bad breath, a bad taste in their mouth, bleeding, swelling, tender gums, and unfortunately, sometimes they don’t have any symptoms at all.
How does it work?
Scaling and root planing is a procedure we do to clean the bacteria and tartar off the deeper surfaces of the tooth. When we treat a patient with scaling and root planing, we usually start off with a full set of X-rays, also known as a full mouth series. We do this so we can see the roots and all the surfaces were going to be working on. Then we start by numbing the gums up gently to make the patient extra comfortable during the treatment. Our numbing technique in our office is very nice because most of the time it doesn’t involve needles and the patients love the fact that it doesn’t involve needles. The numbing jelly that we use here is very strong. It gets applied above and below the gum line and then once the jelly is set, we go in and we start working. We start cleaning off the roots for the patient so the patient gets healthy. The treatment is very satisfying. We are getting rid of all that build-up and leaving our patients with a fresh, healthy mouth.
The benefits of scaling and root planing are that we eliminate the bacteria that’s underneath the gum line and we, therefore, arrest the bone loss that the patient has encountered. So, the goal is to set the patient up to not have any tooth mobility or future bone loss.
Since there is so much work being done, this treatment is often broken into multiple appointments. More importantly, multiple appointments are essential because it allows the doctor to monitor the healing of your gums and depth of your pockets. If your pockets grow deeper, more treatment could be needed.
All in all, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. No one wants to wind up with gum disease, but unfortunately, it can happen. To help prevent gum disease, it is important to visit your dentist twice a year. During your checkup cleanings, your provider will be able to detect early signs of any problems and nip things in the bud. It is better to maintain oral health, rather than waiting for a big problem.