Scaling and Root Planing Overview
If you have developed the symptoms of gum (periodontal) disease, you can rest assured that you are in very experienced, capable hands at Miller and Miller Dentistry. To aggressively clean out the infection and relieve inflammation in the deep pockets of your gums, you may need scaling and root planing treatment for gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease). Regular dental cleanings will not be sufficient treatment for your care. After an assessment and periodontal probing, our general and cosmetic dentists, Dr. J. Christian Miller or Dr. L. Matthew Miller will take action on gum disease when it is detected. We do this in the earliest stage of gum disease, or gingivitis, with scaling and root planing. This is a noninvasive procedure performed by Dr. Chris or Dr. Matt help eliminate bacteria, plaque, and tartar from the under the gums.
Scaling and root planing will be performed with special tools. Dr. Chris or Dr. Matt may use special anesthetics to numb your gums and teeth. Our experience Dental Hygienist will clean out the gum pockets then smooth out the rough, bumpy roots to prevent future buildup. This may take several appointments to complete and then more frequent check-ups to see your progress. If you are concerned about your gums, learn more about scaling and root planing treatments by making an appointment at Miller & Miller Dentistry today.
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Best Candidates for Scaling and Root Planing
During your dental exam, our Dental Hygienist will measure the depth of your gum pockets. If the pockets, also known as sulcus, are greater than three millimeters, or your gums are red, inflamed or bleeding, scaling and root planing treatment might be recommended. Scaling and root planing will reduce the size of your gum pockets so plaque and bacteria can't collect in this area, which leads to the initial stage of gum disease (gingivitis). Some of the early symptoms of gingivitis are chronic bad breath, as well as gums that are bleed easily, are tender, swollen, appear red, or are starting to recede. If gingivitis is discovered in the early stages, one or more scaling and root planing procedures can eliminate symptoms; however, if gum disease has progressed to later stages (periodontitis or advanced periodontitis), then you may require more extensive procedures and could be referred to a dental specialist called a Periodontist.
What To Expect with Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep periodontal process that can be accomplished in our office with a local anesthesia to numb the areas being treated. We may also recommend one of our sedation techniques if you feel dental anxiety about having this done. Your Dental Hygienest will use a scaling instrument to empty out built-up plaque, tartar, and (possibly) infection in your gum pockets. Our experienced Dental Hygienist will then smooth out the roots so they will have a nice surface to reconnect to the tooth. This periodontal process is performed pocket by pocket (tooth by tooth) so it may be a lengthy appointment or several appointments to complete this intervention.
Scaling and Root Planing Follow-up
After your scaling and root planing treatment, you may notice increased gum and tooth sensitivity, as well as some numbness leftover from the anesthetic. Before you leave our office, your dentist may:
- Prescribe antibiotics to help eliminate any remaining bacterial infection from your gums
- Go over your oral hygiene routine and product recommendations of what to use for periodontal disease (brushing, flossing, and mouth wash)
- Schedule a follow-up dental exam as directed by Dr. Chris or Dr. Matt (these may be quarterly, bi-annually, or annually scheduled appointments)
- Book your next two or more dental cleanings for the year
You should stick to a good oral care routine at home, including proper brushing and flossing, to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. You also need to schedule annual dental exams so we can reassess the health of your gums and teeth, plus bi-annual appointments to have your mouth professionally cleaned. Depending on the original condition of your gums and your home care after a treatment, you may need two or three more treatments to heal your gums.
handle Gum Disease With Care
Gingivitis can become painful and critical to your oral health. If you are experiencing signs of periodontal disease, please schedule an exam with Dr. Chris Miller or Dr. Matt Miller at Miller & Miller Dentistry in Plano, TX. Our dental practice has more than 30 years of experience with diagnosing and treating all levels of gum disease. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or to get more information.