Also known as deep cleaning, scaling and root planing can treat mild to moderate gum disease and restore your periodontal health. The procedure involves removing bacteria and plaque from below the gum line and smoothing the surface of dental roots to prevent bacteria from returning. At Family Dentistry of Windsor, PC, Dr. Stephen D. Lipman emphasizes a whole body approach to gum disease treatment and can design a plan that is tailored to your needs. Should you need scaling and root planing, one of our qualified dental hygienists can perform this procedure in our Windsor, CT, office.
Candidates for Scaling and Root Planing
Deep cleanings are generally recommended for patients in the early stages of periodontal disease, known as gingivitis. This is the one and only stage of gum disease that is reversible. Timely treatment can prevent more serious oral health conditions, such as tooth loss and jawbone recession. Common warning signs of gingivitis, as well as more advanced stages of gum disease include:
- Swollen, tender, or red gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Gum recession
- Increased space between teeth
During your regular dental cleanings, Dr. Lipman can evaluate your oral health and determine whether you require treatment for gum disease. At this point, he can recommend scaling and root planing or another type of periodontal treatment.
A special dental tool can remove bacteria and plaque from below the gum line.
The Treatment Process
Scaling and root planing involves two stages. Your hygienist will first perform scaling to remove tartar, plaque, and biofilm from your teeth, all of which contain bacteria. During a scaling treatment, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned above and below the gum line. This stage may involve the use of both of an ultrasonic scaling device and manual instruments.
For patients with early stage gum disease, scaling and root planing is a conservative method for restoring gum health and stopping the progression of periodontal issues.
Once the bacteria is removed, your hygienist will perform root planing to smooth the surface of the tooth roots. This step eliminates any remaining biofilm and reduces the chance of bacteria returning. For your comfort, we can perform scaling and root planing under local anesthesia. Depending on the condition of your gums, you may require additional treatments to fully restore periodontal health.
The Importance of Prevention
In most cases, scaling and root planing can stop the progression of gum disease. Successful treatment reduces symptoms, such as bleeding, and restores the firm, pink appearance of gums. After a scaling and root planing treatment, it is important to protect your oral health with a consistent at-home hygiene routine as well as regular preventive visits to our office. A good home care regimen includes steps such as:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing daily between your teeth and around any restorations, such as crowns and bridges
- Replacing your toothbrush when bristles become worn
- Using an antimicrobial mouthwash
- Avoiding smoking
Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Lipman may recommend more frequent cleanings every two to four months. These maintenance visits allow our team to monitor your periodontal health and remove any buildup of bacteria, which can prevent the infection from returning.
A Conservative Treatment Option
For patients with gingivitis, scaling and root planing can restore gum health and stop the progression of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious oral health concerns, including tooth loss. Studies show periodontal infection is also linked to other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. For more information about scaling and root planing or the other periodontal treatments we offer, contact our office online or call us at (860) 688-4634 to speak to a member of our team today.