Scaling and Root Planning Therapy
When do you need teeth scaling?
Teeth scaling is recommended when plaque and tartar have accumulated around the gum line. This buildup of debris causes inflammation in the gums, which can lead to recession. Gum recession is the pulling away of gum tissue from teeth. It happens when toxins from the bacteria in plaque degrade the strength of the connective tissue around teeth. Treating areas of plaque with scaling removes bacteria and their toxins from the gums. Root planing smooths hard tissue so the gums can more easily reattach around teeth, preventing debris from getting trapped in small pockets.
What is scaling and root planing therapy?
Scaling and root planing are periodontal procedures that are “in-between” treatment. They go beyond the routine dental cleaning but are not as in-depth as osseous surgery. Scaling and root planing do not involve incisions or the folding back of gum tissue, but these techniques do address the minor accumulation of debris and bacteria that can lead to gum recession and pocket formation around teeth.
What does scaling and root planing therapy help treat?
Scaling and root planing help prevent advanced gum disease by cleaning the margins of the gums using special instruments. The procedure removes the bacteria and plaque that have built up around certain teeth, reducing the toxic load in the mouth that can lead to oral deterioration and potentially serious health problems.
Benefits of Soft Gum Surgery
Scaling and root planing are advantageous because they address the early signs of periodontal disease. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that this combination of techniques offered significant benefits to patients with chronic periodontitis. Studies also indicate that nearly half of all American adults over the age of 30 have this condition. The benefit of treatment is that the mouth is restored to a healthier state in which gum disease is easier to manage.
What is the scaling and rooting procedure?
There are two aspects to scaling and root planing. The first, scaling, involves the use of a small instrument, laser, or ultrasonic device to remove plaque and tartar from enamel. This includes areas above and below the gumline as needed to clean the entire pocket that has formed around a tooth. After debris has been removed, another instrument is used to smooth irregularities from the roots of affected teeth (toxins from bacteria cause hard tissue to become “bumpy”). Scaling and root planing are performed with a local anesthetic to keep the patient comfortable. Multiple appointments may be scheduled to address different areas of the mouth.
How Does Scaling & Root Planing Help Treat the Early Stages of Periodontal Disease?
If Dr. Moskowitz detects symptoms that indicate the early stages of periodontal disease, he may recommend scaling and root planing therapy. This treatment helps to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and smooth out the root surfaces. Your dental hygienist may use ultrasonic tools to clear the harmful deposits from the tooth surfaces and reach areas below the gum line.
This is a nonsurgical approach to help the gum tissues heal. Scaling and root planing therapy continues to be an effective treatment for getting the early stages of periodontal disease under control.
What is the difference between osseous surgery and scaling and root therapy?
Scaling and root planing are nonsurgical techniques that deep clean the pockets that have formed around teeth. The pockets addressed during this procedure are relatively shallow and do not involve ligaments or bone.
Osseous surgery requires incisions to access deeper pockets in which toxins from bacteria have begun to degrade the ligament and bone that support teeth. This procedure removes debris, as does scaling, and it smooths hard tissue, as does root planing. However, it also repositions gums closer to teeth and the hard tissue smoothing that is performed involves the bone in the jaw, not the roots of an affected tooth. Osseous surgery is a more complex procedure that is performed to correct the damage caused by advanced gum disease.
Recovery from Scaling And Root Planning Therapy
A deep cleaning may cause temporary soreness and tenderness in the treatment area. Usually, only one quadrant of the mouth is treated at one time. The gums may bleed during brushing and they may look or feel swollen for a few days. Tooth sensitivity may last up to a week. This can be managed with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
In addition to brushing and flossing as directed, patients may also need to use an oral rinse or take an oral antibiotic for several days to ensure that infection does not recur.
What results should you expect?
Scaling and root planing not only ave the ability to stop infection before irreversible damage can be done but it also decreases the symptoms of gingivitis and early periodontitis. The gums may stop bleeding when teeth are brushed. Chronic bad breath may go away. Tenderness should significantly improve or cease altogether.
- Dr. Moskowitz was very gentle and constantly aware of how I was doing during the oral surgery he did. This made it so much easier to undergo the procedure. – Judith G.
- Dr. Moskowitz is very professional and detail oriented. I have two gum grafting procedures done there and he did a very good job on those two. Will definitely recommend. – Jerry Y.
- When it became clear I would need substantial gum grafting surgery I made appointments with three different well-known periodontists. Not only did Dr. Moskowitz spend the longest in a thorough analysis of my gums (close to two hours in the initial consultation appointment), he provided the most detailed feedback on the conditions of my gums and his strategies for rectifying the situation. I could clearly understand his expert opinions and why he took those stances and recommended the path he wanted to take with my teeth. On top of this, he was so gentle in the analysis of the gums that I barely felt the dental tools, which directly contrasted with my experiences at the other periodontists whose handling of the teeth were rougher. And it was for those reasons why I chose to go with Dr. Moskowitz for the gum grafting surgery. I was in the surgical chair for close to four hours, yet the time flew by for that was how gentle the surgery was. So far, the outcome has impressed me, along with Dr. Moskowitz’s recommendations for the ongoing daily care for the gums. Dr. Moskowitz’s desire to help you improve your gums is genuine, which is demonstrated by his knowledge of periodontal treatments and the cutting edge developments in the world of dentistry. I can strongly recommend him to anyone seeking periodontal treatment. – Thomas S.