SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
Periodontal disease is an infection in your gums. When plaque and tartar are left on the teeth, they create the perfect environment for bacteria to infect your gums. This is how periodontal disease starts. If periodontal disease is not treated, the infection will work its way through the foundation of your teeth, break down the bone which supports your teeth, and result in loss of your teeth. Unfortunately, until periodontal disease becomes severe, you will often not feel or see any symptoms of the disease. Once the damage is done and the bone is lost, it cannot be replaced. This is why it is so important to stop periodontal disease before it worsens. Inadequate care of your gums will cause the disease to progress. The good news is that if gum disease is caught in time, its progression can be halted and you have an excellent chance of maintaining your teeth for a lifetime.
Scaling and root planing along with direct placement of Arestin, a specialized antibiotic, is the procedure necessary to treat periodontal disease. This is not a dental cleaning. Scaling is done below the gum line to remove the bacteria that are currently infecting your gums. Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure. Without this procedure, your periodontal disease will continue to worsen. Our dental hygienists are experts at the removal of the plaque and calculus (tartar) that forms under your gum line. The removal of bacteria is painless under local anesthesia with specialized instruments. Any remaining bacteria are then killed with Arestin, a specialized antibiotic that is placed directly unto the infected pockets of your gums.
The response to scaling and root planing is generally very positive. Some people experience mild soreness or tenderness after the procedure. Advil or Tylenol is usually adequate to relieve this. You will notice after several days a dramatic reduction in the bleeding of your gums when flossing. It will often be much more comfortable to brush and floss than before treatment. Three months after scaling and root planing, the status of your gum tissue will be reevaluated. Any areas that have not improved will be retreated during this “periodontal maintenance” visit. It is absolutely necessary to keep up with your prescribed periodontal maintenance. Proper adherence to your schedule will maintain the health of your gums and help you to avoid scaling and root planing in the future.