Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing, also known as a deep cleaning, is the most common treatment for gum disease. At Value Dental Centers in Goodyear, AZ, we offer precise care that will involve minimal discomfort and post-treatment sensitivity. During scaling and root planing, your dentist will eliminate bacteria from your gums. He or she will also smooth rough patches on your roots where microbes might otherwise accumulate. After your deep cleaning, your practitioner will provide guidance to improve your oral hygiene and prevent recurring bouts of gum disease. In this way, he or she can protect both your oral and your systemic health.

Are You a Candidate for Scaling and Root Planing?

If you have mild to moderate gum disease, scaling and root planing will typically be appropriate. This condition develops when oral bacteria build up in your soft tissues. As they multiply, they will create pockets around your tooth roots, which will eventually cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. The following symptoms are indications of gum disease:

  • Gum inflammation, redness, and sensitivity
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gum recession

Your dentist will evaluate your symptoms and measure your periodontal pockets to determine your candidacy for scaling and planing. Usually, we will recommend a deep cleaning if the pockets are 4 mm or more in depth. If they are shallower, you may only require a routine cleaning. In cases of more severe gum disease, you may require additional treatments, such as tissue grafting.

The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

Prior to scaling and planing, your dentist will numb your gums with local anesthesia. Then he or she will clean the pockets between your dental roots and gums, removing all bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Your practitioner will also buff your dental roots. Smoothing down rough areas, he or she will remove the microscopic crevices where bacteria can easily gather. If needed, your practitioner will also treat the periodontal pockets with antibiotics.

What to Expect after Scaling and Root Planing

Following scaling and root planing, you may feel some slight irritation and sensitivity. However, in many cases, you will notice immediately reduced inflammation. In either case, discomfort will typically fade within a few days.

Although scaling and root planing is highly effective, it is not a permanent solution to gum disease. Periodontitis is a chronic condition. Therefore, you must exercise vigilant dental care to prevent flare-ups and future tooth loss. For this reason, at-home hygiene is key. You should brush at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss and use antimicrobial mouthwash at least once a day. Of course, professional maintenance is also essential, and you should be sure to schedule your routine exams and cleanings. In fact, if you have gum disease, we will usually suggest more than two visits a year. Many periodontal patients come in every three to four months.

The Importance of Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing can prevent lasting dental damage, including severe gum erosion and tooth loss. In this way, it can also help you avoid extractions and extensive restorative treatment. The procedure can also improve your immediate wellbeing by easing inflammation and discomfort.

Simultaneously, scaling and root planing can improve your long-term systemic health. Without treatment, bacteria would eventually destroy much of your gum tissue. It could even move to your jawbone, causing serious bone recession. In addition, studies show that patients with gum disease are at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Many scientists believe that scaling and root planing, along with other periodontal treatments, could extend your life.

Contact Us for More Information

To learn more about scaling and root planing and to schedule a periodontal consultation, contact Value Dental Centers Goodyear.