scaling and root planing is an effective, conservative treatment for periodontal disease
If your gums easily bleed when brushing or flossing in addition to dental sensitivity, you may have the early signs of periodontal disease (gum disease). This bacterial infection is a chronic condition that affects the gums. If left unaddressed, it can lead to tooth loss, bone degeneration, and a host of serious health concerns, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. By taking care of your oral health, you can help preserve the health of your body. At Metropolitan Dental Care, we encourage patients to visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and examination so plaque buildup can be removed and the early signs of periodontal disease can be caught.
why scaling and root planing is important
Poor oral hygiene is the number one leading cause of periodontal disease. This includes infrequent dental cleanings and improper brushing and flossing techniques. As plaque accumulates below your gum line, it can begin to harden (calcify). When this occurs, it can lead to gum irritation, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding. You may also experience prolonged bad breath. At this stage, if timely treatment is administered with scaling and root planing, side effects can be reduced and often reversed.
If periodontal disease progresses, it will create pockets between the teeth and gums, trapping and accumulating even more plaque. Over time, gum tissue will deteriorate and tooth decay will develop. This can result in tooth loss and costly restorative procedures.
what to expect during the examination
If you are experiencing any of the side effects listed above, it’s important to schedule a consultation with Metropolitan Dental Care immediately, especially if it has been some time since you last visited the dentist. At your appointment, one of our dental hygienists will assess the health of your teeth and gums using x-ray technology and a periodontal probe. This probe will be able to measure the pockets between your teeth and gums. If they measure four millimeters or above, it is highly likely you have the beginning signs of periodontal disease. Digital x-rays will also be able to detect tooth decay and bone loss deep below the surface.
the scaling and root planing treatment
Once the early stages of periodontal disease have been diagnosed, conservative nonsurgical treatment is often the first line of defense. This will involve a deep cleaning that includes scaling and root planing. During this treatment, your teeth and gums will be numbed with a topical or local anesthetic. An ultrasonic scaler will then be used to remove plaque buildup deep below the gum line, from the base of the tooth, and in between teeth. If necessary, a handheld scaler may also be used as a follow up for any stubborn spots. A root planing instrument will then be used to smooth the root surface so the gums reattach to the tooth. In some cases, a topical antibiotic or prescription mouthwash will be recommended to help your gums heal.
After treatment, your gums may feel sore for the first 24 to 48 hours, but you can return to normal activity. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings every four months to help evaluate your symptoms and manage your periodontal disease. Attending these visits and establishing a proper at-home cleaning schedule will allow you to maintain healthy gums.
Scaling and root planing is designed to promote healthy gums and prevent further damage from occurring. Contact our office today online to schedule your consultation, or give us a call at (303) 534-2626. We have two locations for our patients living in either downtown Denver, CO.