Dental Scaling and Root Planing

According to the CDC, 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal (gum) disease, while 9% of adults have severe gum disease. Dental scaling and root planing are among the most effective, non-surgical ways of treating gum disease. Here’s everything you need to know about teeth scaling and root planing and how it can save your teeth. 

What are Dental Scaling and Root Planning?

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treat gum disease.   

  • Teeth scaling: This procedure removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums. At Washington Court House Dental, we use special instruments such as lasers or an ultrasonic device to scrape away the plaque and tartar on your teeth, both above and below the gum line and down to the periodontal pocket.  
  • Root planing: After removing all the plaque and tartar, we will smoothen out any rough spots on the tooth root (planing), which eliminates and discourages further buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth.   

Why Would You Need Scaling And Root Planning?

When you develop gum disease, the soft tissues surrounding the teeth become infected and pull away from the tooth surfaces forming deep pockets between the teeth and the gums. These pockets allow bacteria, plaque, and tartar to accumulate and cause further damage to the surrounding bone, eventually resulting in tooth loss.  

Usually, if gum disease is caught early when it hasn’t damaged the structures below the gum line, a professional cleaning should do. Still, if the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, you will need scaling and root planing to thoroughly clean the pockets and prevent damage to the surrounding bone. You can prevent gum disease by brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing once daily, and maintaining regular dental visits for professional cleanings.   

You may have gum disease if you have any of these symptoms:  

  • Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away  
  • Loose teeth   
  • Red or swollen gums  
  • Sensitive teeth   
  • Tender or bleeding gums  
  • Painful chewing  
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth  
  • Any change in your bite  

What Happens if You Postpone Periodontal Maintenance?

Gum disease is progressive, and if left untreated, the condition can quickly worsen, destroying bone and soft tissue and eventually causing tooth loss. While there is no cure for periodontal disease, it can be managed or controlled with regular periodontal maintenance.   

Benefits of Root Planing and Teeth Scaling

There are several benefits of root planing and teeth scaling, including:   

  • Prevent further progress of gum disease: Root planing and teeth scaling are considered the most effective treatment for most patients with chronic gum disease. Studies have found that this treatment improved the pocket gap between teeth and gums by 0.5 millimeters on average.  
  • Avoid costly treatments: By following the prescribed periodontal maintenance, you can avoid future problems such as extensive dental treatment, possible surgery, and the additional cost involved.  
  • Prevent other health issues: Treating gum disease can also prevent other systemic issues linked to periodontal diseases, such as respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive impairment, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.  

What to Expect After a Deep Dental Cleaning

After your teeth scaling and root planing, you may experience slight discomfort, swelling, and minor bleeding around the teeth for several days. You may notice some sensitivity to hot and cold (and sometimes sweets) for up to a few weeks. 

In the meantime, you should avoid extremely hot or cold foods and drinks and eat soft foods such as yogurt, applesauce, or mashed potatoes for a few days after the procedure to help reduce sensitivity.   

Root Planing and Teeth Scaling Cost

The cost of teeth scaling and root planing varies depending on the severity of your condition, but you can expect to pay $100 per quadrant. Luckily, dental insurance covers at least a portion of this cost.   

Periodontal Maintenance in Washington Court House, OH

At Washington Court House Dental, we provide comprehensive periodontal maintenance to help our patients maintain oral health. If you have signs of gum disease, tooth scaling, and root planing at our Washington Court House, OH, practice can help treat and control the progression of your condition. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

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