DENTAL SCALING AND ROOT PLANING

If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend a dental procedure called dental Scaling and Root Planning (SRP). This is also known as conventional periodontal therapy or non-surgical periodontal therapy.

While standard cleaning treats the surface of the tooth, dental scaling and root planing are performed to remove the etiologic agents – dental plaque and tartar (calculus) – which cause inflammation to the gum and the surrounding area. At times, scaling and root planing are also advised when gums have started to pull away from the teeth. It is one of the most effective and recommended ways to treat gum disease before it gets any worse.

WHAT ARE THE METHODS USED TO PERFORM SCALING AND ROOT PLANNING?

The Scaling and Root Planning procedure involves completely scaling all the bacterial toxins, plaque, and tartar deposits from your teeth and root surfaces. After scaling, the root planing process starts, which smoothes all rough areas on your roots’ surfaces.

Root planing is done to keep the root surfaces smooth which helps keep the bacteria, plaque, and tartar from re-attaching underneath the gum line.

Generally, there are two methods used for scaling and root planing, some dentists might prefer to use both.

HAND-HELD INSTRUMENTS.

A dental scaler and curette will be used to manually remove or scale the plaque and tartar deposits from your teeth and root surfaces.

ULTRASONIC INSTRUMENTS.

A vibrating metal tip along with a cool water spray attached to it is used as an ultrasonic instrument. This instrument chips off the tartar and sprays it with water to wash the tartar away.

IS SCALING PAINFUL? WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?

During the process, the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth.  Scaling and root planing might cause you a little discomfort. Some patients experience swelling and bleeding following the procedure if the gums are too sensitive.

Sometimes, to speed the healing process and prevent any further infection, your dentist may place antibiotic fibers into the pockets between your teeth and gums. These fibers will be taken out within a week or so.

With proper care post-treatment, gum disease will eventually stop, and your gum will be cavity-free, strong, healthy, and pink again!

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January 2023
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