Scaling & Root Planing

Benefits of Scaling & Root Planing

If you have bleeding gums or have been diagnosed with gum disease, you’ll likely need a deep cleaning to start the healing process. Scaling and root planning are non-surgical, deep-cleaning therapies that Dr. Marra and his team use to treat gum disease.

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What is gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque, and then bacteria in the plaque cause inflammation in the gums. The gums can then start to pull away from the teeth and create spaces, called pockets, where plaque gets trapped. Brushing cannot remove the plaque that gets stuck inside these pockets. If gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, but if gum disease is caught early enough and has not damaged any structures below the gum line, a simple cleaning by Dr. Marra should fix the problem. However, if the pockets between the gums and teeth have gotten too deep, scaling and root planing will be required.

What happens during a deep clean?

The goal of scaling and root planing is to remove any accessible tartar and plaque bacteria. The procedure may require two appointments, depending on the severity of the disease and Dr. Marra’s professional opinion. The process will begin with Dr. Marra administering a local anesthetic to numb the area to ensure your comfort. Dental scaling involves the use of manual instruments, ultrasonic instruments, or sometimes both. First, the inside of the mouth will be thoroughly examined. The next step is to use an ultrasonic device, which removes plaque bacteria and tartar from the tooth and under the gum line using sonic vibrations. To ensure that they can remove as much as possible, Dr. Marra may use a manual tool to remove the remainder after the ultrasonic device is used. Root planing will involve scaling the root surface to decrease inflammation and smooth out rough areas to eliminate plaque development.

What to do after a deep cleaning

Pain and sensitivity after either procedure are to be expected, as well as some bleeding from the gums. These symptoms should only last for a maximum of one week. Dr. Marra may suggest a prescription pill or mouth rinse to avoid infection afterwards, or he may insert medication into the pocket that was cleaned out. After the procedure, make sure that you continue to brush at least twice a day and floss. Avoiding tobacco products will also help.

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