Scaling and root planing are two non-surgical procedures that are typically done together. The purpose of scaling and root planing is to treat and prevent gum disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue that can occur when plaque builds up on the teeth and under the gums. If you have severe or recurring gum disease, these procedures may be recommended by your dentist.
If you are set to undergo the scaling and root planing procedure, you may have some questions, such as: Does the procedure hurt? Will I have any pain after the procedure? This overview of the procedure will answer these questions and more.
The Scaling Procedure
Scaling is the removal of hardened plaque from the teeth and below the gums. Plaque is a combination of food residue and bacteria that forms a sticky film that clings to the teeth. When plaque stays on the teeth for long enough it hardens into calculus and is much more difficult to remove. It is also more likely to cause gum disease when it forms under the gums on the roots of the teeth.
In order to remove the plaque from under the gum line, the dentist will numb your mouth. This prevents you from feeling any pain during the procedure.
The Root Planing Procedure
After the plaque is removed, root planing is the process of smoothing the surface of the root portion of your teeth below the gum line. A special tool is used to buff the surface of the tooth roots until they are smooth. This allows the gums to form a tighter bond with the roots of the teeth, preventing plaque from getting under the gums. You will still be numb for this part of the procedure, so you won’t feel any pain.
Will There Be Pain After the Procedure?
You may have some discomfort or sore gums after the numbing medication wears off. The pain should be manageable with over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication, which can help reduce the inflammation and swelling that may occur after the procedure.
How Often Will I Need Scaling and Root Planing?
For some patients, once is enough for scaling and root planing. If gum disease clears up and doesn’t come back, you may not need a follow up procedure. However, for many patients with recurring or severe gum disease, scaling and root planing may need to be done more often to keep gum disease at bay.
The average patient should go to the dentist every 6 months for dental cleanings and oral exams. If you have a tendency to develop gum disease, your dentist may recommend that you come in for cleanings more often than the usual schedule, such as every 3 months. You may not need scaling and root planing each time, just a more thorough dental cleaning.
What Are the Risks Associated With Gum Disease?
Gum disease can become a serious problem if it is not treated. It can cause the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, causing them to become loose and even fall out. The infection can even enter your bloodstream and travel throughout your body, potentially causing sepsis. Having gum disease also increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. This is why routine dental cleanings and good oral hygiene habits are important for your overall health and wellness.
Smile Shack Provides Scaling and Root Planing
Smile Shack provides scaling and root planing procedures to treat and prevent gum disease. If you have the symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums or loose teeth, you need treatment as soon as possible. Smile Shack can provide you with immediate and ongoing treatment to cure gum disease and keep it from coming back.