Root Planing and Scaling: How the Deep Cleaning Process Helps Patients

by Robert Rapisarda
Dr. Robert Rapisarda has helped patients from as far as Boston address their dental health needs. The reason that so many patients put their trust in Dr. Rapisarda is his commitment to patient comfort and advanced patient care. This includes the use of sedation dentistry techniques to reduce fear of dentist visits and dental anxiety as well as the latest techniques and technologies in cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

Many patients who come to the practice would benefit from root planing and scaling treatment. It’s sometimes misunderstood by patients, so we want to go over the basics right now.

What is root planing and root scaling?

One of the most common, and most effective, procedures in treating gum disease before it develops into a more serious issue is referred to as root planing and scaling. This procedure involves the cleaning of the gums and teeth all the way down to the roots and, as such, will require that you be given a local anesthetic to numb your gums. The procedure is also referred to as “deep cleaning.”

Does root planing and root scaling hurt?

Although this is traditionally an invasive procedure, recent technological advancements have given dentists the option of using an ultrasonic tool to complete the root planing and scaling procedure. Since this form does not require the type of digging and sanding that the traditional form includes, this tool relieves a considerable amount of discomfort a patient experiences during the procedure, but is only required in special circumstances.

Root planing and scaling is far less invasive than gum surgery, which has been a relief to many patients fearing potential surgeries for their condition. Root planing and scaling essentially consists of sanding your teeth, which will remove any rough spots on the roots of your teeth that may be hosting a large amount of bacteria.

How do I know if I need to undergo root planing and scaling?

Typically, your dentist may recommend root planing and scaling if your gums have begun separating from the teeth, or if he or she finds that you have a considerable amount of tartar an plaque on the roots of your teeth. This unwanted build up may ultimately lead to bone loss along the gumline where the accumulation occurs, which would make it extremely important to at least consider root planing and scaling.

The Effectiveness of Root Planing and Scaling

Typically, the deep cleaning process is highly successful if the patient is diligent about maintaining his or her periodontal health after the procedure has been completed. If the patient is diligent and the condition of the gumline and teeth was not too severe, the likeliness of long-term effectiveness is extremely high.

While the healing of tissue begins immediately after the procedure, patient diligence is also paramount in ensuring the potential periodontal disease process is not accelerated. If a patient is not consistent about his or her dental health, additional procedures may be required.

The Risks of Root Planing and Scaling

While root planing and scaling is not a high-risk procedure, there is the potential for additional infection in the gums once completed. A common practice for dentists to prevent this infection is to insert antibiotic fibers into your gums, which are removed within a week or so after the procedure. If a patient is particularly prone to infection, a dentist may prescribe additional antibiotics after the procedure. Additionally, if you have an impaired immune system in any way, additional antibiotics will be prescribed once the procedure has been completed.

Learn More About Advanced Dental Care

For more information about root planning and scaling and your many other options for advanced dental care, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Rapisarda looks forward to your visit.

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Robert A. Rapisarda, DMD

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