Scaling & Root Planing Chandler AZ
Scaling and Root Planing Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the scaling and root planing, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about scaling and root planing.
When gum disease strikes, it starts as gingivitis, which is an infection that affects only the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include redness and swelling of the gums as well as bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. These symptoms may not be painful and are often ignored. Untreated, gum disease continues to get worse, turning into periodontitis, and can cause several severe issues. Your teeth and jawbone are in danger of deteriorating as well as your gums. You risk infections, which can enter your blood stream and your teeth may become loose and fall out. Intervention is needed to prevent these things from happening. Often, the best course of action is scaling and root planing, and Doctor Scholes of Scholes Periodontics and Implants can help.
Plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, both above and below the gum line, putting pressure on your gums, which causes the irritation and inflammation. Your gums may also feel tender to the touch. Tartar cannot be removed by normal brushing alone. It requires a dental tool to get the job done. The dental hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaling tool to remove buildup from the surface of your teeth, both above and below the gum line. You will be given local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort during this procedure.
Root planing involves smoothing the surface of the roots of your teeth. In doing this, tartar, toxins and bacteria are removed. The process promotes healing and disrupts bacterial growth. It also aids in the prevention of severe infections, which can enter the blood stream and spread to other parts of the body.
Before scaling and root planing, Doctor Scholes will perform a thorough oral exam. The condition of your teeth and gums as well as the amount of buildup is assessed. Pockets in the gums, where bacteria can hide and grow, are measured. X-rays are also taken to look at the condition of your jaw bone. All of these things help to determine the extent of your gum disease and if scaling and root planing is the right course of action.
You are also encouraged to develop a good oral hygiene routine at home – brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. This will help keep plaque and bacteria at bay, allowing your gums to continue to heal. A healthy diet can help improve your overall health, strengthening your teeth and providing you with essential vitamins and minerals that can help speed your recovery.
There are several benefits of scaling and root planing.
- It removes plaque and tartar buildup. It also removes food particles out from under the gum, getting rid of the bacterial food source.
- It decreases inflammation and irritation. With the removal of tartar, pressure is removed from your gums, helping to relieve inflammation and irritation.
- It is a non-surgical procedure. However, if you experience any discomfort, you have the option of being administered a local anesthetic to help ease this.
- It prevents serious health issues. Infections in your gums can spread to the roots of your teeth, entering the bone and then the blood stream. Once there, the infection can spread throughout the body, causing issues everywhere it goes, such as heart disease and problems in the brain.
- It helps to prevent tooth loss. Gum disease causes your gums to recede and destroys the condition of your jawbone. Both of these lead to unstable teeth that may need to be removed.
- It helps to stop gum disease. When the pockets in your gums are greater than three millimeters, the number of bacteria that can grow in the pockets greatly increases. These bacteria increase the body’s inflammatory response, which destroys your gums and bone. An extensive cleaning to remove these bacteria and reduce inflammation can help you begin to heal.
- It freshens your breath. Because your gums are inflamed, food particles can become trapped beneath the gum line, and are cannot be removed by brushing. These particles become food for bacteria. As they rot, they produce a foul odor. Any infection also produces bad breath. Scaling and root planing help to remove leftover food particles and help heal infections, greatly improving the quality of your breath.
- It increases your confidence. Gum disease has a significant impact on the appearance of your gums and teeth. Cleaning build up from your teeth and healing the redness and swelling of your gums greatly improves your mouth’s appearance, giving you a boost of confidence and leaving you wanting to show off your smile.
Cleaning Before Surgery
When gum disease is extremely advanced, surgery may be required in order to heal your gums. At this point, the pockets in your gums are too deep to be kept clean by any amount of periodontal maintenance cleanings. Prior to surgery, scaling and root planing is performed to clean the area and prepare your gums to heal well.
After surgery, you are prescribed a medicated mouthwash and antibiotics. These are meant to minimize bacterial growth and prevent infection while encouraging healing.
If you are facing more advanced stages of gum disease, scaling and root planing may be part of the treatment you need to help return your mouth to a healthy state. Call Scholes Periodontics and Implants today to discuss your options.