Gum disease is a condition that occurs in progressive stages, with each stage requiring an increasingly intensive treatment. When gum disease is identified early, it can be treated with minimal discomfort and disruption to the patient.
When pockets have developed between the teeth and the gums—a hallmark of periodontitis—a periodontist can perform a deep cleaning procedure known as a root planing and scaling to address the problem.
Root planing and scaling helps to clear bacteria from the space between the gums and the roots of the teeth. If those bacteria are left to their own devices, they can proliferate and ultimately attack not only the gum tissue, but the underlying bone as well. As gum disease progresses, the patient faces an increased risk of tooth loss and other negative outcomes.
In providing this treatment, the periodontist will clean the area underneath the gums to eliminate the bacteria that are causing the gum disease. The periodontist may also smooth over rough spots on the tooth’s root that can serve as a collection point for oral bacteria.
A root planing and scaling typically takes place in the periodontist’s office. A local anesthetic is used, and many patients also choose some form of sedation for a more comfortable experience.
Following a root planing and scaling procedure, patients should consult with their periodontists to develop an effective aftercare plan to reduce their risk of a recurrence of periodontitis. In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home, patients may also need to visit their general dentists more frequently for exams and cleanings to keep oral bacteria to a minimum.
Root planing and scaling can help to halt the progress of periodontal disease before it causes serious damage like tooth loss. Furthermore, when patients undergo this procedure, they may be able to avoid a more invasive intervention like gum surgery that could be necessary down the line. If you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, contact the office of Dr. Amit Patel at 972-242-7603 to discuss your treatment options.