When you visit us twice a year for a regular cleaning, our dentists scale your teeth to flush out bacteria. When our dental experts do this, they are cleaning your teeth all the way down to your gum line. When a patient has gum disease, however, a different type of procedure is used. This is called root scaling and planing.
What is it?
If a person has periodontitis, the gums around the bottom of their teeth start to loosen and form pockets. This is because bacteria and plaque start to build up and irritate the gums. Root scaling and planing clears a tooth’s surface from any harmful residue to help the gums reform tightly around the tooth. Root scaling and planing many take more than one dental visit to complete, depending on the severity of the case.
How it’s done:
When a dentist performs root scaling and planing on a patient with chronic gum disease, they start by scaling the tooth’s surface to rid of plaque and tartar. After the tooth’s surface is clean and refined, the dentist will then move on to the tooth’s roots. Root planing allows the dentist to properly remove all rough areas on the tooth’s roots. Now your teeth can breathe again!
What happens after?
After undergoing a root scaling and planing procedure, your gums may feel a little sore for up to a week. It is also normal to see bleeding and swollen gums. During your follow up visit, your dentist will decide if the procedure successfully closed the gum pockets or if more treatment is needed.
Maintenance and Prevention
Taking care of your dental health at home is key to preventing gum disease and plaque buildup. If you have gum disease, make sure to take proper care of your oral health on a daily basis. This is important because you do not want the condition to worsen.
Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash will all help keep your mouth clean and prevent further damage. Make sure to visit Premier Dental Associates twice a year for regular cleanings and check-ups. Your dental health is our number one priority!