Periodontal scaling and root planing are essential procedures for the long-term health of your teeth and gums. When performed correctly, it can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay and reduce the risk of complications such as tooth loss.
This comprehensive guide will provide a detailed overview of the procedure, its benefits, risks, and tips on preparing and recovering.
With this information, you can make an informed decision about whether or not this preventive dental care is right for you.
Periodontal scaling and root planing (also called periodontal debridement) is a preventative dental procedure performed to remove plaque, calculus (hardened plaque), and other harmful substances from your teeth and gums.
This is essential to maintaining good oral health since these substances can lead to gum disease and tooth decay over time. While regular brushing and flossing will go a long way towards preventing these issues, scaling and root planing are essential supplements.
Because it is minimally invasive, it is often performed as a maintenance procedure to help prevent the disease from occurring or returning.
Periodontal scaling and root planing can help prevent long-term issues with your teeth and gums, including:
Bacteria from plaque can enter your teeth and cause tooth decay. This is especially problematic near the roots of your teeth, which are close to your gums. When these areas are not treated, they can lead to cavities or, worse, tooth loss.
Above ground, gum disease is commonly referred to as a periodontal disease. This is caused by plaque building up along the gum line and hardening into tartar. If left untreated, plaque and tartar can cause periodontal disease, leading to the loss of teeth.
Periodontal disease has also been linked to certain other health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
If left untreated, plaque and tartar can cause gums to recede into your teeth. In some cases, this can be so severe that gum disease causes your teeth to loosen and fall out.
In addition to the above health conditions, periodontal disease has also been linked to an increased risk of depression.
A dental hygienist typically performs periodontal scaling and root planing in-office procedures. First, your dentist will review your oral health and any special considerations.
Next, they will numb your gums, so you do not feel any pain during the procedure. Finally, your dental hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. This includes scraping your teeth and gums and using ultrasonic tools.
When complete, your dental hygienist will apply a topical antibacterial solution to your teeth and gums to finish the procedure. The time the scaling and root planing procedure takes varies from person to person.
During this time, you may feel some discomfort. Let your dental hygienist know if it becomes too much, so they can adjust their technique or perform the procedure more slowly.
The scaling and root planing procedure is generally safe, with few complications. The most common risks are:
There is a chance that your gums will become swollen after the procedure. If this happens, it will usually subside within a few hours.
Scaling and root planing can cause some mild pain and discomfort. This will subside within a few hours.
To prepare for your scaling and root planing procedure, it is essential to follow your dentist’s instructions for home care, including:
These substances can cause gum disease to progress more quickly and make your gums more sensitive.
This removes plaque from areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.
This removes plaque from the surface of your teeth, where it forms first.
A dental cleaning removes plaque that the above home care techniques cannot remove.
After your scaling and root planing procedure, your dentist or dental hygienist may apply a special bandage to your teeth and gums to help prevent infection and promote healing. You may also be given other instructions, including:
You should take it easy and avoid strenuous activities while healing your mouth.
This can cause your mouth to swell further and prolong your recovery.
While they freshen your breath, they can slow the healing process.
This can help flush bacteria from your mouth, furthering the healing process.
These can aid in the long-term health of your teeth and gums.
This can help your dentist identify potential problems before they become severe.
The periodontal scaling and root planing procedure only take a short time, but you will likely experience some swelling, mild discomfort, and inconvenience while your mouth heals.
Depending on the severity and how you care for your mouth, this can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. You can expect your mouth to heal fully in a few days with minimal long-lasting side effects with proper rest and care.
While your gums will likely heal first, your teeth may take longer to recover. This is because the enamel and dentin are slower to heal than the gums. While your teeth may not be 100% back to normal immediately, they will continue to heal and recover over time.
The cost of your scaling and root planing procedure depends on various factors, including the severity of your periodontal disease, dental plan type, and location. While exact pricing is challenging to predict, dental scaling and root planing are typically less expensive than other periodontal treatments.
Periodontal scaling and root planing help to maintain long-term dental health better. When performed correctly, it can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay and reduce the risk of tooth loss.
With all the information shared above, you can now decide if this procedure is right for you. With the help of this comprehensive guide, you have learned what periodontal scaling and root planing are, their benefits, who is a good candidate for it, how it is performed, what the aftercare instructions are, how long it takes to recover, and more.
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