Hopefully, you go to the dentist twice a year to get your teeth cleaned professionally. If you do, you’re most likely familiar with the process of how our registered dental hygienist scrapes off tartar at or below the gumline as part of your professional dental cleaning. When you have developed symptoms of gum disease, a regular cleaning might not be sufficient and you may need a different type of cleaning referred to as scaling and root planing. This is a nonsurgical procedure performed by our general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Frederick Solomon, to help eliminate gum disease. For patients with periodontitis or gum disease, scaling and root planing are considered aggressive treatments for chronic gum conditions. Your treatments may take a couple appointments to properly complete and may entail the use of local anesthetics.
At our New York, NY office, we may also recommend scaling and root planing to help you prevent further damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Tribeca Smiles has a dedicated staff committed to providing all our patients with compassionate, comforting care. We also strive to eliminate any discomfort or fear of these type of periodontic treatments with our relaxation dentistry methods. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Solomon to discuss your sedation dentistry options.
Most patients do not come into our office thinking they need scaling and root planing. However, if scaling and root planing are recommended at your consultation or examination, it is imperative to follow through with all the appointments. The need for a scaling and root planing treatment is needed when the periodontal pockets between your teeth and gums are more than three millimeters in depth. This is easily determined with a gentle probe designed to measure the pockets in your gums. But pocket depth alone doesn’t determine the need for scaling and root planing. The amount of plaque is also crucial since it’s the main reason why teeth decay and develop cavities. It’s a tacky film that’s created by all the bacteria in your mouth as it feeds on food particles. Once this hardens into tartar, gum disease can get progressively worse. The goal is to stop the advancement of gum disease.
What To Expect
Scaling and root planing is an aggressive periodontal cleaning conducted with a local anesthetic in just the areas being treated. We may also recommend one of our sedation dentistry techniques if you feel anxious or stressed about having this procedure. Dr. Solomon will utilize a scaling instrument to clean out the bacteria in all of the hard-to-reach places within the gums and eliminate the built-up plaque and tartar on the teeth. Dr. Solomon will then smooth or plane the exterior of the tooth to reduce the number of areas where plaque and tartar can build up. You may need to repeat this process for several sessions for ideal results.
Only one quadrant or half of the mouth will be treated during the cleaning, so the initial follow-up would be for cleaning the rest of your mouth. The reason for multiple treatments is mainly to make it easier on your mouth. If only half is cleaned at a time, it will be much easier to talk and eat in the interim. Scaling and planing is also a time-intensive process and patients often prefer to break it up into multiple sessions. After each sitting, you will experience increased gum and tooth sensitivity, as well as some numbness from the local anesthetic. Therefore, take a pass on spicy, hot, and cold foods for 24 hours and brush gently for a couple days as well. After that, you should be back to normal.
Plan Your Procedure
PrepARE FOR PERIO TREATMENTS
If a scaling and root planing treatment is recommended by your dentist, it is vital to follow this directive for the continued health of your teeth and gums. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the scaling and root planing process. Set up your appointment at your earliest convenience.