Are Scaling and Root Planing an Essential Requirement?

Are Scaling and Root Planing an Essential Requirement?
March 1, 2020

If your dentist recommends that you get your teeth scaled this procedure is usually performed along with the root planing. These procedures are commonly known as deep cleaning. They are more in-depth than routine teeth cleaning.

The scaling and root planing procedure can help to treat the chronic periodontal disease which is also known as gum disease. Periodontal scaling and root planing will take more than one visit to the dental office and may require a local anesthetic to be administered depending on the severity of your condition specifically if you have receding gums. Recovering from this outpatient procedure generally takes a few days but may take longer.

When Is Teeth Scaling Required?

If your mouth is displaying signs of chronic periodontal disease your dentist will recommend the scaling and root planing procedure. They can help to stop the harmful effects of periodontal disease and keep your mouth healthy.

The periodontal disease of the chronic variety occurs when bacteria in the plaque cause your gums to recede from your teeth. It causes large pockets to form between your teeth and gums causing more bacteria to multiply there as they are unable to reach with brushing alone at home. It is the reason why dentists recommend flossing to reach the spots that cannot be reached by the toothbrush. When left untreated chronic periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, loose teeth, moving teeth, and bone and tissue loss.

Nearly 50% of the adult population in the United States over the age of 30 is affected by chronic periodontal disease. The common reasons why this condition develops includes the following:

Poor dental hygiene, smoking, changes in hormones, aging, poor nutrition, family history, and other medical conditions. Deep pockets between the gums and teeth are a symptom of chronic periodontal disease but there are other symptoms of this condition including inflamed red or tender gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, permanent teeth that are shifting, and a change in your bite.

What Happens during Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

The procedure will be performed as an outpatient procedure at the dentist’s office. You may be required to schedule more than one appointment for the procedure depending on the severity of your condition. Your dentist may or may not decide to use a local anesthetic to ease the discomfort of the procedure. However, if you are concerned about the pain you may discuss the same with your dentist.

The teeth scaling will initially be conducted by the dentist by scrapping the plaque away from your teeth and in any large pockets that may have developed between your teeth and gums. The root planing will be conducted thereafter by the dentist who will smooth the tooth roots using a scaler. The smoothing helps gums to reattach your teeth.

You may be recommended additional treatments by the dentist after determining the health of your teeth and gums. Antimicrobial agents may also be used in your mouth by the dentist who may prescribe oral antibiotics for you to ingest for several days for healing faster.

The dentist may also perform an additional process known as host modulation whereby additional medication is administered into your gums directly to assist in correcting the negative effects of long-term periodontitis or prevent the chances of an infection after the procedure.

The dentist will be using traditional tools for performing the procedure including a curette and scaler but other instruments are also available for this procedure like lasers and ultrasonic devices. The dentist may also recommend full mouth disinfection.

The Benefits of Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

This procedure is considered the gold standard for treating chronic periodontal disease. Evidence is available from various reviews that this procedure can improve the Gap in the pockets between the teeth and gums by 0.5 millimeters. You will be reducing your risk of experiencing tooth, bone, and tissue loss associated with chronic periodontal disease by reducing the size of the pockets developed between your teeth and gums.

This procedure despite having minimal risks is considered intensive because you will need to schedule multiple appointments with the dentist. Therefore you can expect scaling and root planing costs to be higher than traditional teeth cleaning procedures. This procedure is an effective option to gain control over periodontal disease and you may be recommended repeated visits to the dentist’s office for periodontal maintenance cleaning schedule to return for regular cleanings every 3 to 4 months as compared to twice every year with standard cleanings.

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