Root planning and scaling is the in-depth cleaning of the gum line and is used to address gum diseases or periodontitis.
What Is Gum Disease?
The plaque bacteria that builds up along the gum line cause gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease. It affects about 47.3% of adults beyond age 30 in the United States. And about 8.6% of them result in severe periodontitis. If gum diseases are addressed in a timely manner, measures can be implemented to prevent them from damaging the structures below the gum line.
The early stages of gum disease are accompanied by increased redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums and this is referred to as gingivitis.
How Scaling and Root Planning is Applied?
The first steps dentists typically take are periodontal scaling and root planing to treat gum diseases. These methods do not require surgery as they’re deep cleaning methods that require handheld or ultrasonic instruments.
Results show that deep cleaning using ultrasonic tools presents similar results to manual deep cleaning with handheld equipment.
Local Anesthesia Administration
Your dentist will need to apply a local or topical anesthetic around to numb the area of operation. This helps to stabilize the membrane, alleviates pain, and helps in preventing hemorrhaging.
After five minutes of administration, you will feel a temporary loss of sensation around the area. The treatment usually proceeds without pain, but you will feel some tenderness in intervals.
Subgingival Scaling and Root Planning
Your dentist will start by scraping away all the tartar and plaque. Down to the bottom of the periodontal pocket. Following, your dentist will go ahead to smoothen out the rough surfaces around the root of the teeth. This makes the reattachment of the teeth to the gum easier.
The four main components of the teeth are – Dentin, enamel, cementum, and dental pulp. Planing removes the cementum – the full coverage of the tooth’s root.
Root Planning occasionally involves the removal of small layers of the dentin. Periodontal scaling and root planing might require more than one or two dental visits based on your condition.
Post Surgery and Aftercare Tips
Rounds of post-procedure checkups are imperative after the treatments. Here are a few tips:
After Care Tips
It is normal to feel pain and tooth sensitivity for a couple of days after the treatment. Your gum will feel quite tender and swollen, and you will experience minor sensitivity.
Your dentist might prescribe a pill or mouth rinse to avoid further infection and to help control the pain. Application of subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline into the cleaned pocket helps to ease the pain as well.
- Floss at least once a day
- Rinse using mouthwash
- Use fluoride
- Brush lightly twice a day
The Risks Behind Scaling and Root Planing
Dental scaling and root planning can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream that is harmful – this, in turn, can lead to blood infections. If this occurs, it’s common for your dentist to prescribe antibiotics or mouth rinse that helps prevent and treat this allowing you to heal as quickly as possible.
These are the predominant side effects, but they typically settle in a few days.
- Tooth discomfort
- Swelling around the treated area
- Temporary allergies
- Aching and throbbing.
Is Dental scaling and Root Planning Effective?
Scaling and root planning helps control cases of chronic gum diseases by uprooting bacteria and calculus. However, there are a few factors that affect how your teeth respond to the treatment
- Teeth damage leading to misalignment
Surgical Treatment For Gum Disease
For persons with severe periodontitis, dental surgery might be needed. Some of which are:
- Soft Tissue Grafts – This requires the removal of a small number of tissues around the affected area of the gum.
- Tissue – Stimulating Protein – Application of bone stimulation gel is used to help the infected tooth.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration – If the gaps between the teeth and bones become too much, biocompatible material is inserted into the pockets to stimulate the growth of the bone cells.
Frequently Asked Question About Scaling and Root Planing
- Is Root Planing Painful?
Root planing is not usually a painful procedure due to the application of local anesthetic right before the op. There will be sporadic instances of minor discomfort during and after treatment, and that is about it.
- How Long Does Teeth Scaling take?
The teeth scaling process takes anywhere between one to two hours to be completed, and in many cases, the treatment is rounded off in one visit.
- How Long Will the Gums heal?
Post-operation, your gums should feel better after two weeks.
In conclusion, don’t hesitate to visit your preferred dental professional for a dental exam and cleaning as soon as possible to determine the state of your oral health.