Reviewed by Dr. Gary Morris, DDS

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common problem many people face. If left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences. In our previous blog, “Non-Surgical Gum Disease Treatment: Understanding Scaling and Root Planing,” we discussed what gum disease is and how scaling and root planing can effectively treat it.

In this next blog, we will look at what to expect before, during, and after scaling and root planing. We’ll also answer some common questions that patients may have.

Is Scaling and Root Planing Really Necessary?

Sometimes, routine dental cleaning isn’t enough to remove all the plaque and tartar or the first signs of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to more severe issues, such as tooth loss, bone loss, or systemic health problems. 

Periodontal scaling and root planing is a more thorough process that ensures your gums and teeth are healthy and infection-free. 

Scaling and root planing is a standard dental procedure for treating gum disease, especially in its early to moderate stages. It can stop the disease from getting worse and prevent the need for more invasive procedures. It helps to restore gum health and reduce the risk of gum disease.

If you have a more severe case of gum disease, your dentist may recommend multiple sessions. For more information, read our blog, How Often Do You Need Scaling and Root Planing?

Key Takeaway

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure that meticulously cleans the gum pockets to remove tartar buildup and bacteria. Scaling involves carefully removing plaque from below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing the tooth roots to prevent future bacterial attachment. This treatment is crucial for restoring gum health and halting the progression of gum disease.

What Happens Before Tooth Scaling and Root Planing?

Often, periodontal disease is not associated with pain. Your dentist might identify periodontitis during a routine dental examination. Dental X-rays may also be used to detect issues such as cavities, an infected tooth (abscess), and bone degradation.

Your dentist will measure each gum pocket to determine the depth. This step allows them to assess the extent of periodontal disease and plan for the procedure.

The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

This dental deep cleaning procedure extends beneath your gum line to thoroughly eliminate tartar from all your teeth and their roots. Your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb your mouth to alleviate any potential discomfort or pain. 

During the procedure, the following steps are taken to ensure the effective treatment of gum disease:

  1. Scaling: Dental scaling is done using specialized tools that remove plaque and tartar buildup from the tooth surface both above and deeper below the gum line. Ultrasonic scaling tools, which use vibrations to loosen plaque and tartar, may also be used to make the removal process easier.
  2. Root planing: The root planing process smooths any rough areas on the root surface of your teeth. These rough spots can become a breeding ground for plaque buildup, so smoothing them makes it more difficult for bacteria to accumulate in the periodontal pockets and cause recurrent gum disease.
  3. Post-procedure care: After the procedure, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or recommend an antimicrobial mouthwash. These measures combat any potential bacterial infection and expedite the healing process.
  4. Follow-up appointment: Your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your healing progress and assess the health of your gums after the procedure.

What Happens After Tooth Scaling and Root Planing?

The smooth surfaces of your treated teeth make it more difficult for bacteria and plaque to adhere. As your gums recover, inflammation subsides. This allows your healthy gums to reattach more securely to the smoothed roots of your teeth.

Does It Hurt?

While the thought of dental work may cause unease, scaling and root planing is generally well tolerated by patients, especially with local anesthesia. If you suffer from severe dental anxiety, sedation options are available to make the experience more manageable and less stressful.

Post-treatment discomfort is usually mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and by following aftercare instructions provided by our team.

Morris Dental Solutions: The Best Dentist in Buffalo Grove, IL

The scaling and root planing procedure is vital in combating gum disease and supporting good oral health. It goes beyond what traditional brushing and flossing can achieve to clean and restore the health of your gums.

The experts at Morris Dental Solutions can help if you have concerns about gum disease or want to learn more about the scaling and root planing procedure. Dr. Morris and our team are here to answer your questions and guide you through the process.

If you are searching for a ‘dentist in Buffalo Grove, IL’ or a ‘gum disease treatment dentist near me,’ contact Morris Dental Solutions. Call us at (847) 215-1511 or complete the online booking form. Your path to a healthier smile starts here.

Stay tuned for our next blog in the series: Scaling and Root Planing Aftercare and Recovery, where we’ll explore the aftercare and recovery process in detail. 

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