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What to Expect at a Scaling & Root Planing Deep Cleaning Appointment

Woman at dentist

Plaque and tartar are responsible for increasing your risk of tooth decay. While plaque can be removed with proper oral hygiene and regular brushing and flossing at home, if it hardens into yellow tartar, you’ll need to visit a dentist. Visiting your dentist every six months for a regular dental cleaning can eliminate tartar and plaque buildup and prevent oral health complications.

Excess plaque can build up on your teeth and below the gum line, causing the bacteria contained in the plaque to multiply and create pockets that grow between the teeth and gums, leading to gum disease. Only a dentist has the right deep cleaning tools to safely and effectively remove tartar from your teeth and gums. Learn about the treatments available at Caputo Dental to preserve your oral health.

Why You May Need a Deep Cleaning Appointment

Chronic periodontal disease causes deep pockets between the teeth’s gums and roots. Symptoms of gum disease and deep periodontal pockets include:

  • Permanent teeth that shift
  • Inflamed, tender, bleeding, or swollen gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)

If not appropriately treated, the pockets left by the bacteria can lead to chronic periodontal disease, which affects nearly half of American adults over 30. Left untreated, this disease can lead to shifting or loose teeth, tooth loss, and even jawbone deterioration.

Other factors that can increase the risk of chronic periodontal disease:

  • Poor dental hygiene habits
  • Habitual smoking
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Contributing medical conditions

Your dentist at Caputo Dental may recommend a deep cleaning appointment, which includes scaling and root planing treatments to improve your oral health.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

During the scaling process, your dentist carefully removes all the plaque and tartar from your teeth, both below and above the gum line, using a manual scaling tool or an ultrasonic scaler. An ultrasonic scaler uses high-frequency vibration to mechanically remove tartar calculus without damaging the enamel underneath.

Once the hardened plaque is removed from the surface of the teeth, your dentist begins the root planing process. During root planing, the roots of the tooth below the gum line are smoothed with a filing tool so the gums can more easily reattach to the teeth.

What to Expect From a Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

The scaling and root planing procedures are outpatient treatments, although they may require more than one visit to complete the entire process. Before the procedure, your dentist manually examines your teeth and gums to look for signs of periodontal disease that may require further treatment.

Before beginning the scaling and root planing treatment, your dentist applies a numbing gel and administers a local anesthetic to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure.

To prevent infection and aid the healing process, your dentist may also insert medication directly into the gum pockets during the root planing. Your dentist may also prescribe oral antibiotics or antimicrobial mouthwash for use at home.

After your deep cleaning is complete, some discomfort, tooth sensitivity, or swelling or bleeding of the gums may occur for a few days or weeks but should be temporary.

Teeth scaling and root planing are considered the best treatments for periodontal disease in American dentistry. The procedures have a success rate of an average of .5mm improvement in pocket gap size, according to a journal article review. Once your treatment is complete, regular follow-up check-ups are recommended so your dentist can monitor changes in your oral health.

Personalized Care at Caputo Dental

Preventative dental care and good oral hygiene habits at home can help you avoid the side effects of periodontal disease, such as gum recession, tooth migration, or a dental abscess.

For high-quality preventative dentistry and periodontal therapy, visit Caputo Dental. Our dentists can discuss the scaling and root planing treatment process in depth and other periodontal treatments that may be beneficial for your oral health.

Contact us at (630) 922-1311 to schedule your scaling and root planing appointment today.

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