What is scaling and root planing?
The removal of hard deposits (calculus or tartar) from the surface of your teeth roots is known as scaling and root planing, sometimes called a “deep cleaning”. This treatment may be completed in one or multiple appointments depending on your unique need.
After this therapy, you will begin to notice your gum tissue go from unhealthy (swollen, red) to healthy (firm and pink) as you continue to be seen regularly for your maintenance visits. When we see this change in your gums, we will know that infection is under control and your gums are healthier.
Why do I need this type of dental cleaning?
Your toothbrush and dental floss can only clean so far below your gum-line. When plaque and tartar (bacterial colonies) sit on the gums and roots of your teeth, inflammation occurs. This inflammation and the bacteria that causes it, release toxins that can cause gingivitis, and bleeding gums. If gum disease is left untreated, it could lead to:
- Bone loss
- Tissue (gum) loss
- Loose/mobile teeth
- Loss of teeth altogether
This type of gum disease is called periodontal disease. Dr. Lepore may diagnose the need for scaling and root planing (SRP) to remove the hard deposits from your teeth.
The Development of Periodontal Disease:
Can I go back to a regular cleaning after I have scaling and root planing (SRP) completed?
Periodontal (Gum) disease can be managed, but not cured. After scaling and root planing has been completed, patients are typically put on a periodontal maintenance or “management” of gum disease, where cleanings are performed every 3 to 4 months to maintain gum and bone health. If this interval is not followed, the very same infection that caused the need for this type of cleaning can return, causing further bone loss. Maintenance visits are the most important treatment you can complete to maintain the investment.
Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning after Scaling and Root Planing:
Conditions that can lead to the development of periodontal disease include:
- Poor dental hygiene and irregular cleaning appointments
- Hormonal changes
- Family history
- Poor nutrition
What else can I do to manage my gum disease?
- Before starting your periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing), Dr. Lepore will recommend salivary diagnostic testing to identify specific levels of 11 harmful bacteria known to contribute to periodontal disease. These very bacteria have been shown in recent studies to cause or lead to diseases such as heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about salivary diagnostics testing here.
- Every patient can also benefit from PerioProtect Trays. These trays release oxygen medication into the pockets of your gum tissue to manage and kill the harmful bacteria harbored there. Learn more about the benefits of PerioProtect here.
- To further benefit you and prevent future issues, Oral Probiotics may be recommended. These work very similar to gut probiotics, driving out the bad bacteria to replace it with good bacteria. Learn more about the benefits of Oral Probiotics here.
- At your 4-6 week evaluation with your dental hygienist, she will re-measure your gum tissues (or pocket depths) for improvements and offer over-the-counter or at-home remedies to assist you in achieving your best health.