What to Expect From Scaling and Root Planing

When patients regularly care for their teeth and go to dental checkups, they have shorter and simpler professional cleanings. 

Less common patients don’t have the same luck.

But it’s not rare that some of us get stuck in the ways of life and neglect our oral health, needing a more thorough job like scaling and root planing.

And if you’re here, perhaps this is your case.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you! And relax… It’s not near as awful as it sounds! Let’s understand what this procedure is about.

Scaling and root planning: why do we need it, and what’s it about?

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that involves removing plaque from the harshest places. 

When our oral health is not the best, these are the places where tartar builds up the most damages our teeth and gums.

Let’s take a look at its different stages.

Below the Gum Line: why we need scaling and root planing

The war against plaque is real!

This ominous bacteria film can pose a fight even to the most disciplined brushers and flossers. That’s why keeping your oral hygiene habits on point is crucial!

If the sticky plaque isn’t professionally removed regularly, it will more likely infect and swell your gums. This disease comes in two stages:

  • Gingivitis (early stage)
  • Periodontitis (when neglected)

Unfortunately, statistics show that almost half of adults over 30 actually suffer from the advanced stage.

This causes the gums to pull away from your teeth. 

The gap between the root and the new gumline creates a small pocket that serves as a home for even more bacteria and plaque.

That’s when scaling and root planning procedures enter the game. 

But how does this procedure work?

Scaling and root planing: A Two-Stage Process

The first step is removing the hardened plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. There are a couple of ways to do this: mechanically or with an ultrasonic wand.

After this first step is complete, it’s the turn for root planning.

This second step consists of smoothening the teeth’s roots below the gumline. This simple process favours the reattachment of gums to your teeth.

Challenging cases may take several appointments to finish the scaling and root planning procedure.

If you feel any discomfort, we may apply a local anesthetic to make the process comfier for you. This may be necessary if a congested area needs to be treated in various appointments.

Even so, the results and benefits are much more significant!

Everyone Responds Differently after a scaling and root planning process

After your deep cleaning, your gums may feel tender and slightly swollen.

The good news is this usually goes away in a few days.

One thing you must consider!

Even when only slightly invasive, infection is still possible after scaling and root planing. We would attend the area with a topical remedy. Most serious cases may need to take antibiotics for a few days -some patients may even need them before and after.

It’s hard to say for sure what will be the final treatment; every patient is a little different. 

It depends on the severity of the gum disease and how well you respond to treatment.

We’d Like to Be Your Partners

Root planing and scaling are highly effective routine procedures. If it’s been some time since your last checkup, a deep cleaning may be the right place to start. 

Book an appointment with us and change your oral health for good! No shame, no lecturing. Just help.

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