During a regular cleaning, the plaque and tartar are removed from above the gum line, but if the deep pockets below the gum line aren’t cleaned enough, bacteria will develop and lead to gum disease. If needed, Dr. Mary Swift and Dr. Alana Reifer can deep clean the area of the the tooth’s root below the gum line to prevent gum disease and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) with scaling and root planing (also known as deep cleaning). At Dallas Laser Dentistry, all patients are checked for plaque and tartar build up below and above the gum line during their regular dental exam and cleaning, so preventative action and treatment can be started early.
Scaling & Root Planing Reviews
Scaling and root planing is recommended for any patient who has an excessive build up of tartar and plaque below the gum line. The earlier the problem is caught and treated, the less likely it is that the patient will develop chronic gum disease or have bone and tooth loss. Patients who regularly brush and floss their teeth are less likely to need scaling and root planing.
What to Expect
Scaling is performed first to remove the plaque and tartar on the tooth that is below the gum line. Then root planing smoothes the gum line and tooth root to promote proper healing of the gums. Since the treatment may need to reach deep below the gum lines, Dallas Laser Dentistry usually uses a local anesthetic or another form of sedation for the patient’s comfort. After scaling and root planing, patients should expect to have swollen, tender, and bleeding gums as well as tooth sensitivity for 2 - 7 days.
Plan Your Procedure
Scaling & Planing FAQs
Dr. Swift or Dr. Reifer may prescribe an antibiotic pill or mouth rinse to prevent an infection as your gums heal. After scaling and root planing, patients need to be extra vigilant about brushing their teeth twice a day, flossing, eating healthy foods, avoiding tobacco, and coming in for regular dental exams. If needed, patients may need multiple scaling and root planing treatments to get all the plaque and tartar as the dentist checks the progress of the gums while healing.
Does It Hurt?
During scaling and root planning, Dr. Swift and Dr. Alana Reifer use some form of anesthetic or sedation to prevent pain and discomfort to the patient. While many patients will only need a local anesthetic, patients who need more extensive work or who have anxiety can be considered for a stronger form of anesthetic or sedation. Over the counter pain medication can be used for any discomfort during your recovery.
Length of Treatment?
The length of your scaling and root planing will depend on the extent of the problem and your level of tolerance for the procedure. If needed, 2 - 4 appointments may be used if the patient wants shorter appointments that focus on 1 quadrant of the mouth at a time. Patients may also need multiple appointments to allow the dentist perform an initial scaling and root planing treatment before a deeper treatment is done on more extensive plaque and tartar.