A Step-by-Step Guide to Scaling and Root Planing

A Step-by-Step Guide to Scaling and Root Planing

Jul 01, 2021

Scaling and root planing, collectively known as deep cleaning, are non-invasive periodontal therapies usually recommended as the first line of treatment for patients experiencing periodontal disease. Periodontal scaling focuses on removing plaque, tartar, and other debris from the gum tissue, inhibiting further inflammation.

Periodontal scaling effectively stops gum disease in its tracks, whether you’re in the early stages or have an advanced form of the disease.

If you’ve been experiencing bad breath, bleeding gums, loose teeth, difficulty or pain when chewing, swollen gums, or receding gums, you may be suffering from gum disease. Reach out to Quincy Dental Associates to undergo a thorough evaluation and safe, personalized treatment.

Remember, unaddressed gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. The sooner you seek treatment, the lower your risk of suffering long-term periodontal disease complications.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Your mouth is a thriving ecosystem that contains numerous bacteria, some of which are harmful. When you consume food, especially the sugary and starchy kind, the bacteria in the mouth break down these foods, forming acids and plaque. Plaque is a sticky material that hardens to form tartar. If you don’t clean your teeth regularly and correctly, plaque and tartar accumulate in your mouth, causing cavities and gum inflammation.

If you don’t catch and correct gum inflammation in time, the infection escalates and becomes full-blown periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a serious dental problem and a leading cause of tooth loss. If gum disease is not addressed in good time, you risk losing all your teeth to the disease.

Your First Deep Cleaning Appointment

Dentists usually recommend scaling and root planing procedures as first-line treatments for periodontal disease. That is, the dentist attempts to treat periodontal through non-invasive therapies first. If these fail, then surgical interventions may be sought.

Here’s what to expect during your initial scaling and root planing appointment:

  • The dentist starts by administering local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. In many instances, the dentist divides the mouth into four quadrants and works on one quadrant at a time.
  • After numbing the treatment area, the dentist uses a dental scaler to eliminate plaque and other debris from the periodontal pockets. Periodontal pockets are the spaces that form between the teeth and gums due to gum disease.
  • After eliminating all plaque and tartar from the treatment quadrant, the dentist moves to the next step of root planing. This step involves smoothing the tooth roots to allow easier re-attachment of gum tissue while also discouraging bacteria from adhering to the tooth surfaces.
  • If necessary, the dentist may apply topical antibiotics to the sites of infections. Topical antibiotics are placed directly in the periodontal pockets to discourage microbial growth.

How Many Deep Cleaning Sessions Do You Require?

Deep cleaning usually requires multiple sessions for the treatment to be effective. Depending on the severity of your disease, the dentist may recommend two to four appointments. Sometimes, scaling and root planing procedures aren’t one hundred percent effective in combating gum disease. In such cases, the dentist may supplement deep cleaning with other periodontal therapies.

Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy Post-Treatment Guidelines

Here are some essential aftercare tips to keep in mind after scaling and root planing procedures:

  • For the first few days following periodontal treatment, avoid hard foods and instead go for softer options. This is because hard foods can trigger pain when chewing.
  • Expect some minor bleeding after treatment. However, the bleeding should resolve after a couple of days. When you experience bleeding, apply pressure to the treatment site using a gauze pad or moistened tea bag. If bleeding persists beyond 48 hours, get in touch with Quincy Dental Associates for help.
  • Avoid hot meals for the first week after treatment. Remember also not to rinse out your mouth as this could interfere with the healing process.
  • Clean your mouth gently when you have to. Rough brushing and flossing can hurt inflamed gums and trigger bleeding.
  • Use prescribed medications as instructed.

When in doubt or pain, please contact our dentists in Quincy, MA, for assistance.

Schedule an Appointment with our dentist in Quincy, MA

Are you experiencing symptoms consistent with gum disease? Timely periodontal scaling can spare you the long-term complications of periodontal disease. Book a dentist appointment at Quincy Dental Associates to experience safe, non-invasive, and personalized periodontal therapy.

Our dental practice welcomes new patients of all ages from Quincy, MA, and the surrounding areas of:

  • Braintree |
  • Milton |
  • Wollaston |
  • Weymouth

Our family dentistry in Quincy, MA also welcome patients from the below given nearby areas:-

617-773-2490 Schedule Now
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