While early stages of gum disease are reversible, later stages are long-term and must be maintained for the sake of your oral health. Scaling and root planing is a procedure used by our dentist to thoroughly.
Depending on the severity of your condition, this treatment may require multiple visits and the use of a local anesthetic. Our Washington, MI, dentist will be sure to review your specific situation and inform you of any additional treatment required.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
A common procedure used to treat gum disease, scaling and root planing is an in-depth cleaning performed by our dentist using handheld dental tools. If your mouth shows signs of serious periodontal disease and has progressed beyond gingivitis, scaling and root planing may be what you need to restore your oral health.
Like the name implies, this procedure involves two main components. Scaling is what removes the plaque and tartar from below the gumline. Root planing then helps smooth out the tooth root which facilitates the reattachment of the gums to the tooth.
As gum disease progresses, deep pockets form between your gums and teeth. Once plaque has entered into these pockets, brushing will no longer suffice. This is where scaling and root planing comes into play. Our dentist will recommend the procedure to prevent any bone or tooth loss.
What You Can Expect for the Procedure
Scaling and root planing is non-surgical, but our dentist may apply a local anesthetic to numb the area in need of cleaning. This is to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
After the area is numb, our dentist will start by removing any plaque and tartar present on your teeth using a tool called a scaler. This is done above and below the gumline, all the way down to the deep pocket that has formed.
With the plaque gone, we’ll transition into the planing stage. This will involve our dentist smoothing out rough surfaces on the roots of your teeth. You can expect tooth sensitivity and gum tenderness for a few days following your procedure, but this can be managed with over-the-counter or prescribed medications.