About Scaling and Root Planing
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and is caused when plaque, bacteria, and acid build up in the gum pockets beneath the teeth. When left untreated, this build up can cause inflammation, bleeding gums, bad breath and other issues. At Laser Smile Studio, our board-certified dentist, Dr. Todd McCracken, recommends a deep cleaning procedure referred to as scaling and root planing for the treatment of this issue. Scaling and root planing restores the health of the gums and teeth by deep cleaning above as well as below the gumline, so that the gums may reattach to the tooth, and polishing the tooth to prevent and deter future plaque buildup. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may be most comfortable with a local anesthetic.
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What to Expect
For the scaling and root planing procedure, the patient will be given local anesthesia on the areas being treated. Sedation may be added to help the patient remain calm and comfortable during the procedure. To reach all areas of the gum pocket and remove the plaque and tartar that has built up, Dr. McCracken will use a manual scaling tool or an ultrasonic cleaner. After the gum pocket is cleaned, Dr. McCracken will minimize the areas where plaque and tartar can become trapped by planing (smoothing) the surface of the tooth. After the procedure, the gums will begin to heal and reattach properly to the tooth root. Some patients may need more than one treatment to get their best results.
After the scaling and root planing treatment, the patient might experience some inflammation or bleeding of the gums for a few days after the treatment. To keep the gums and teeth clean after the scaling and root planing procedure, patients should discuss proper techniques for brushing and flossing so they can establish a good home care routine. You should also be sure to schedule dental exams at least once a year or as recommended by Dr. McCracken. Laser Smile Studio will usually schedule a follow up appointment 2 - 4 months after the procedure to check your progress.
Since scaling and root planing is usually a medically necessary treatment for gum disease, dental insurance often covers some or all of the cost of the procedure. Our office will contact your insurance company to determine your specific coverage and out-of-pocket expenses. Patients can also discuss payment options and financing plans during their consultation.
Plan Your Procedure
Clean, Healthy Gums
To prevent more advanced stages of gum disease, scaling and root planing is an effective, nonsurgical treatment that can help stop symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth, and gum recession. Scaling and root planing gets your oral health back on track so you can have a beautiful, healthy smile.