Scaling and Root Planing
New Bedford, MA & Falmouth, MA
If you suffer from early stages of gum disease, Dr. Gus Dehni DMD at Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry may recommend scaling and root planing, a conservative method to remove the bacterial plaque from your mouth.
Scaling and root planing is different from regular dental cleaning or prophylaxis since it is done to treat active disease rather than to prevent oral health conditions.
When is Scaling and Root Planing Recommended?
Gum disease or periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque. If this disease turns aggressive and chronic, it has devastating effects on your gums, teeth, ligaments, and supporting structure of the mouth.
Bacterial plaque is a yellow biofilm that turns to tartar or calculus, the hardened form of plaque if you do not brush and floss your teeth properly. Tartar can become a hotspot for bacteria, which will spread to your gums and make them become inflamed and swollen. You may also experience bleeding gums and a foul mouth odor. In later stages, your gums will form deep pockets and retract from your teeth, exposing their roots.
If this disease is diagnosed in its early stage, we can mitigate the damage by destroying the infection. However, if you ignore it, it can lead to the eventual loss of teeth.
The first step to treat periodontal disease is scaling and root planing.
How Does Scaling and Root Planing Work?
Scaling and root planing is done to remove the hardened calculus from your teeth and gums and to make it difficult for bacteria to recolonize. This process is done under local anesthesia. We will also use x-rays to determine the extent and severity of the disease and how deep the gum pockets are.
We will first use an ultrasonic instrument to shake loose the larger pieces of calculus stuck to your teeth. We will then use fine, pointed dental tools called scalers to scrape off plaque from your teeth and beneath your gum line.
We will then remove the damaged cementum and a fine layer of dentin from the exposed tooth root. The cementum is a calcified layer that covers the tooth root, while dentin is the yellow layer beneath the enamel. This will make your teeth smooth and make it difficult for bacteria to adhere to them.
We may also use antibacterial time-release medication to fight bacterial infection in the future. This medication may be placed in the gum pockets and can facilitate quicker healing. You may also need to apply a topical medication to your gums regularly.
Once we have performed scaling and root planing, we may ask you to visit us every two to four months for periodontal maintenance to prevent the re-emergence of bacteria. This procedure will involve assessing the health of your gums and teeth, measuring your gum pockets, and using therapeutic treatment to eliminate bacteria.
Remember that it is best to get gum disease treated in its early stages. If your gum disease becomes more advanced, scaling and root planing alone may not be able to solve the problem, and we will have to resort to more aggressive methods.
That is why it is important to schedule regular dental checkup appointments with us. Call us today at 508-996-3131 to schedule an appointment at Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry and ensure the health of your gums and teeth.