What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning procedures that remove hardened tartar from the surface of teeth and underneath the gumline.

When gingivitis becomes advanced, the dental condition can lead to periodontitis. Untreated periodontitis may result in severe damage to the gums, as well as tooth loss if the infection spreads to the jaw bone.

Treatment of periodontitis often includes scaling and root planing, which are advanced dental procedures that remove hardened tartar and prevent further oral issues. Long Island Implant Dentistry offers this and other treatments to restore the health of gums and teeth. We begin by assessing the condition of your gums, which allows us to recommend the best possible solution to maintain oral health.

Are There Different Types of Gum Disease?

The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is a mild infection associated with swelling, redness, and minor bleeding. While gingivitis can be reversed with thorough dental care and professional cleanings, periodontitis often requires more comprehensive treatments. You can identify periodontitis by looking for certain signs, including:

  • Red, swollen gum tissue
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Receding gum tissue
  • Formation of gaps between the teeth
  • Severe infections along the gumline
  • Persistent bad breath

If periodontitis is not addressed with the correct dental treatment, it can eventually lead to tooth loss. In this case, teeth may feel loose in the mouth, which signals that the connection between the teeth and jawbone has been compromised.

What Causes Severe Periodontitis?

Gum disease typically results from poor dental care, as brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly cleanings by a dentist remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth. However, certain people have a higher risk of advanced gum disease, even when they’re careful about their oral health.

For instance, people with diabetes often experience issues with wound healing, which prevents gum tissues from recovering from minor damage. Smoking can also contribute to advanced gum disease, as can a family history of oral health issues. Fortunately, our dental care team can develop a treatment approach that accounts for these and other risk factors.

What Can You Expect During and After Scaling and Root Planing Procedures?

With tooth scaling, dentists use special tools to remove hardened tartar from teeth. Your dentist will also use a device that sprays a pressurized stream of water along the teeth, which rinses away plaque and tartar and cleans any pockets of gum tissue that have formed.

As for root planing, the dentist will move gum tissue to access the roots of the teeth for the purpose of removing tartar. It may also be necessary to administer antibiotic medication to the gums, particularly when the infection is severe.

Aftercare is an important aspect of recovery after these dental procedures, so patients should be aware of what to expect:

  • Discomfort, sensitivity, and minor bleeding are all normal after scaling and root planing procedures
  • Soreness can often be managed with over-the-counter pain medications
  • Gentle brushing and flossing are recommended, but you can also substitute oral rinses until the gums have healed

If you have any questions or concerns after the procedure, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dental care specialist.

Schedule an Appointment Today to Discuss Your Gum Health

Preserving gum health is an essential aspect of dental care, and Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a range of effective gum treatments. As trusted dentists in Long Island, we proudly offer patients affordable oral health solutions that prioritize your comfort. Please contact our office today to learn more.

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