As dental professionals, we understand the importance of good oral hygiene and preventative maintenance. Regular dental cleanings are crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but sometimes a deeper cleaning is necessary. That’s where tooth scaling and root planing come in. In this article, we will explain what tooth scaling and root planing are, why they are necessary, and what to expect during and after the procedure.
What is Tooth Scaling and Root Planing?
Tooth scaling and root planing, also known as a deep dental cleaning, is a non-surgical dental procedure that removes tartar, plaque, and bacteria from the teeth and gums. It is usually recommended for patients with gingivitis, which is caused by a build-up of bacteria and plaque along the gum line. Periodontal disease can cause inflamed gums, receding gums, sensitive teeth, and even tooth loss if left untreated.
During the tooth scaling process, our dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic tool with a vibrating metal tip to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. This tool uses water to flush out debris as it works, making the process more comfortable for patients. A local anesthetic may be used to numb the gums and make the process more comfortable.
Once the tartar and plaque are removed, our dental hygienist will use root planing to smooth out the roots of the teeth. This promotes healing and helps the gums reattach to the teeth. In some cases, an antibiotic gel or mouth rinse may be prescribed to treat any remaining bacteria.
Why is Tooth Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?
Tooth scaling and root planing are necessary to treat gum disease, which can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings are usually sufficient for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but if you develop periodontitis, a deeper cleaning is necessary.
Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease that can cause bone loss, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. It is important to treat gum disease early to prevent further damage to the teeth and gums.
What to Expect During and After the Procedure
Tooth scaling and root planing is usually done in two separate visits to our dental office. During the first visit, our dental hygienist will perform the scaling process, removing tartar and plaque from the teeth and gums. This may take several hours, depending on the severity of the build-up.
After the scaling process, you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity, especially when eating cold or sticky foods. This is normal and should subside within a few days. Our dental hygienist will provide instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums after the procedure, including regular brushing, flossing, and using a mouth rinse.
During the second visit, our dental hygienist will perform the root planing process, smoothing out the roots of the teeth to promote healing and help the gums reattach to the teeth. This process may also take several hours, depending on the severity of the gum disease.
After the root planing process, you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity, similar to after the scaling process. Our dental hygienist will provide instructions on how to care for your teeth and gums after the procedure, including using a prescribed mouth rinse and possibly taking antibiotic pills.
Tooth scaling and root planing is a low-risk procedure with few complications. However, if you experience any persistent pain or bleeding after the procedure, or if you develop a dental emergency, please contact our dental office immediately.
The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
Tooth scaling and root planing can help treat gum disease, but good oral hygiene is the key to preventing it from developing in the first place. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent the build-up of bacteria and plaque that can lead to gum disease.
In addition to good oral hygiene, there are other factors that can increase your risk of developing gum disease, including smoking, poor nutrition, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes. If you are at higher risk for gum disease, it is especially important to maintain good oral hygiene and schedule regular dental check-ups.
Dental Insurance Coverage for Tooth Scaling and Root Planing
Many dental insurance plans cover tooth scaling and root planing as a preventative treatment for gum disease. However, it is important to check with your dental insurance provider to see what is covered under your plan. Our team at URBN Dental can help you understand your insurance coverage and work with you to make dental care affordable.
Alternatives to Dental Deep Cleaning
If you have mild gum disease or are at risk for developing it, our dental professionals may recommend a gum scaling procedure. This is a standard cleaning that focuses on removing plaque and tartar from the gum line. It is less intensive than tooth scaling and root planing, and it does not require a local anesthetic.
If you have more advanced gum disease, our dental professionals may recommend a nonsurgical treatment called gum therapy. This involves using a laser to remove bacteria and diseased tissue from the gums, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. This treatment is less invasive than surgery and can be done in our dental office.
For patients with advanced gum disease or tooth loss, dental implants may be a good option. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are anchored to the jawbone, providing a permanent solution for missing teeth. Our dental professionals can help determine if dental implants are right for you.
Visit URBN Dental for Deep Teeth Cleaning
Tooth scaling and root planing are important dental procedures that can help treat gum disease and prevent further damage to the teeth and gums. If you are experiencing inflamed gums, receding gums, or other symptoms of gum disease, it is important to schedule an appointment with our dental professionals as soon as possible.
At URBN Dental, we are committed to providing our patients with high-quality dental care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Our team of dental professionals is experienced in tooth scaling and root planing, as well as other dental procedures, and we are dedicated to helping our patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Uptown Houston, Midtown Houston, or Montrose.