Scaling And Root Planing Will Become Necessary to Save Your Teeth in Certain Situations
Scaling and root planing may be recommended by your dentist in a procedure known as deep cleaning. This procedure will be required to treat the chronic periodontal disease which is also known as gum disease. These cleanings are more comprehensive than typical teeth cleaning. If you have been recommended scaling and root planing you must be prepared to make multiple visits to the dentist’s office and may also be administered a local anesthetic depending on the severity of your condition especially if you have a receding gum line. The recovery from this outpatient procedure will require a few days but may take longer on occasions.
When Would You Need This Procedure?
Your dentist would have recommended scaling and root planing only after noticing signs of chronic periodontal disease in your mouth. This procedure can prevent the harmful effects of this condition and keep your mouth healthy.
The chronic periodontal disease only occurs when you allow plaque to develop on your teeth by improper brushing and flossing habits. The bacteria in the plaque begins to cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. It causes large pockets to form between your teeth and gums providing a breeding ground for more bacteria to multiply in the pockets that will be inaccessible which your toothbrush at home. It is the reason why dentists recommend flossing every day to reach spots toothbrushes cannot.
When left untreated periodontal disease can lead to:
- Tissue and bone loss.
- Tooth loss.
- Loose teeth.
- Shifting teeth.
Nearly 50 percent of Americans over the age of 30 are affected by chronic periodontal disease. The reasons why you may have developed this condition include:
- Poor nutrition.
- Poor dental hygiene.
- Family history.
- Changes in hormones.
- Other medical conditions.
You may experience that the pockets between your teeth and gums when you have chronic periodontal disease but other symptoms will also be visible to you including:
- Bleeding gums.
- Shifting permanent teeth.
- Inflamed, tender, or red gums.
- Bad breath.
- A change in your bite.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The procedure of scaling and root planing will be conducted at your dentist’s office in an outpatient procedure. You may need to schedule one or more appointments depending on the severity of your condition.
A local anesthetic may or may not be used by the dentist but if you are concerned about the pain you may discuss it with the dentist.
The scaling will be conducted initially by the dentist or dental hygienist which involves scraping the plaque from your teeth and in any large pockets that have developed between your teeth and gums.
The root planing conducted after the scaling where your dentist will smooth the tooth roots by using a scaling tool. The smoothing assists your gums to reattach to your teeth.
Depending on the health of your teeth and gums additional treatment may be recommended by the dentist who may also use antimicrobial agents in your mouth and prescribe oral antibiotics for you to heal faster. A procedure known as host modulation may also be performed by your dentist whereby additional medication will be applied directly into the gums to help correct the negative effects of long-term periodontitis or prevent the chances of reinfection following the procedure.
Scaling and root planing are performed by using traditional tools such as a scaler and a curette but other instruments are also available to conduct this procedure in the form of lasers and ultrasonic devices.
The Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are considered as the gold standard treatment for chronic periodontal disease. Studies conducted in 2015 revealed that these procedures improved the gap between the pockets of the teeth and gums by 0.5 millimeters. This procedure reduces the risk of experiencing bone, tooth and tissue loss associated with this condition.
Are There Any Risks Involved in This Procedure?
Minimal risks are involved in this procedure although you may be susceptible to an infection for which your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or special mouthwash to use for a few days or weeks. You may also experience some pain and tooth sensitivity along with tenderness in your gums. However, these side effects will wear off within a few weeks but if they don’t you can always contact your dentist.