Scaling and root planing – or a deep dental cleaning – is a nonsurgical treatment used to reduce oral bacteria and reverse the effects of gum disease. But when is this type of treatment recommended? Here, we will take a brief look at the different stages of gum disease and explain how scaling and root planing is effective for mild to moderate periodontitis. |
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is quite similar to a routine cleaning you would receive from your hygienist. The main difference, however, is that during scaling and root planing, the gums are numbed with local anesthesia. This allows your dentist or hygienist to clean deep beneath the gums in hard-to-reach areas. In addition to removing plaque, tartar, debris, and food particles, the clinician will also smooth the teeth roots to prevent further irritants from reattaching. This process generally takes about one to two hours, depending on the severity of your condition.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Before we discuss what scaling and root planing can address, let’s take a brief look at the stages of gum disease: • Gingivitis: The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis is characterized by puffy, red, tender gums. Fortunately, in most cases, this condition can be addressed with a regular dental cleaning and improved oral hygiene.
• Periodontal disease: If gingivitis progresses, it is referred to as periodontitis. At this stage, the infection above the gums moves beneath the gums, and begins to erode the supporting jawbone.
• Advanced periodontal disease: As gum disease worsens, the infection creates pockets around the necks of the teeth. As a result, more bacteria, plaque, and tartar become trapped in these areas.
What Can Scaling and Root Planing Address?
In most cases, scaling and root planing is recommended for patients with mild to moderate periodontal disease. At this stage, bone loss has started to occur, but the problematic areas can still be reached through nonsurgical means. However, if the gum disease becomes too advanced, scaling and root planing will not be enough to treat the problem. In these instances, gum surgery will be necessary to eliminate the infection and improve your oral health.
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
Patients who undergo scaling and root planing can enjoy a number of advantages. For example, this procedure: • Halts the progression of gum disease: Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective procedures for treating periodontal disease.
• Prevents tooth decay: Because scaling and root planing removes plaque deposits and tartar buildup, it helps prevent cavities and tooth decay.
• Reduces the risk of tooth loss: Untreated periodontal disease can lead to mobility and tooth loss. Scaling and root planing effectively reduces the risk of these issues.
• Protects the teeth roots: When bone loss occurs, harmful tartar and plaque accumulate around the teeth roots. Scaling and root planing removes these irritants and preserves your overall oral health.
• Eliminates bad breath: Tooth decay and gum disease are often accompanied by a bad taste or bad breath. Scaling and root planing sweeps away odor-causing bacteria. As a result, your mouth will taste and feel fresher.
Treating gum disease in the early stages can help you avoid more invasive and costly procedures in the future. If you are interested in learning more about scaling and root planing or other periodontal treatments, contact Metropolitan Dental Care by calling 303-534-2626. Our practice is proud to serve Denver, CO and surrounding communities.
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