Do you feel pain around your teeth and gums? Do you see bleeding from your gums? Have your gums become noticeably red and swollen? It is likely that you have developed periodontitis. Periodontitis is an inflammatory gum disease that is caused by a long-term build-up of plaque and tartar. It develops when one doesn’t care about their oral hygiene, ie, regular brushing, flossing, skipping regular oral check-ups. The plaque hardens with time and forms tartar, infecting the gums eventually. Thus, you feel a throbbing pain and your gums bleed. When you pay a visit to the dentist, he will probably suggest you scaling and root planing.
The risk factors of periodontitis:
- Poor brushing and flossing habits
- Family history of periodontitis
- Consuming lots of sugary food and drinks
- Crooked teeth
- Health problems like cardiac problems and blood pressure
So, what is scaling and root planing?
Periodontal scaling and root planing, also known as dental deep cleaning is a restorative dental procedure that involves the elimination of plaque and tartar from the gum line without performing any surgery. Deep cleaning becomes necessary when a patient’s gums, bones, and tissue surrounding the affected tooth become damaged due to periodontitis.
How much does scaling and root planning cost?
Depending on the severity of the condition and the type of tooth, the cost of the procedure can take between $140 and $300. Other contributing factors are based on the level of the dentist’s expertise and the technology they use. It might cost more if the dentist uses an ultrasonic instrument for cleaning the area.
Scaling and root planning procedure
If a patient has periodontitis, deep cleaning becomes necessary. The procedure is halved into two appointments. In the first appointment, the dentist cleans the upper and lower quadrants of one side of the mouth. And in the second appointment, he will clean the other two quadrants. The steps of the procedure are as follows.
1. Injecting anesthesia
The initial step of scaling and deep planing requires a dosage of anesthesia. Local anesthesia helps controlling pain and hemorrhage. Your dentist injects it into your mouth, dosing enough not to make you unconscious but to make your affected area numb so that he can carry out the procedure without hurting you.
Next, the dentist will proceed with performing the second step which is scaling. In this procedure, the dentist removes plaque and calculus (tartar) beneath and between the gums, followed by the base of teeth crowns. Some dentists also use Calvitron, an ultrasonic instrument, for this process. The dentist places the scaler in the periodontal pocket (irritated gums separates from the tooth, forming a deep gap/pocket) angling it between 45 to 90 degrees to the tooth. With slow, scraping motion the tooth is thoroughly cleaned from base to crown.
3. Root Planing
As periodontitis persists, the dentin, cementum, enamel, and dental pulp get damaged with time. Hence, root planing needs to be done to smooth the rough surfaces of the decayed tooth and to remove bacteria. The dentist cleans the gums and removes plaque and tartar from the roots of teeth. After that, the cementum of the infected tooth is completely removed. The procedure might involve the removal of dentin and enamel if the infection is too deep. In the end, he will flush the area to remove any remaining bacteria and apply digital pressure to the gum tissue for proper tissue adaptation. This is how the procedure is completed.
Scaling And Root Planing Aftercare
As for aftercare, proper oral hygiene should be established. Your dentist might suggest which food to consume and avoid for a course of time. Periodontitis is the most severe type of gum disease so brush, and floss regularly. And regular trips to your dentist are necessary. Your dentist will be able to check and inform you about your tooth’s condition.
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