Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical periodontal, deep-cleaning, treatment that is typically recommended when periodontal (gum) disease is diagnosed. Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treat gum disease. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque.  Plaque is always forming on your teeth, when plaque is not removed properly, it can harden to become tartar or calculus, which are difficult to remove with even proper home care; the bacteria in plaque can then cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, scaling and root planing may be needed.


What will my scaling and root planning appointment look like?

This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is when our in-house hygienists will remove the plaque and tartar above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Your hygienist will also do root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and requires a local anesthetic to ensure comfort for our patients. Oftentimes a betadine solution is used to irrigate the patients pockets after the procedure is completed to aid with disinfection. Sometimes post-op X-Rays may be required for Scaling and Root Planing patients.  

After Care

After a deep cleaning, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender and bleed as the healing process takes place. To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, your Dr. Arauz and your hygienist may suggest different options. Your hygienist will schedule a post-op visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper or proper healing did not take place, more treatment may be needed.

Good dental care at home is essential to help keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring.  Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, clean between your teeth twice a day, avoid using tobacco and see your dentist regularly. It is vital that patients maintain their oral health after their procedure. 

Your oral, dental, and overall health is a team approach between your dentist, hygienist, and you. Please do not hesitate to discuss your care with our team today at 910-577-1315.


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