Dentists extract tartar and plaque from the upper and lower ends of the gum lines during a standard daily dental check-up. If you have signs of periodontal disease, in the first stage, the dentist would recommend a dental treatment procedure known as scaling and root planing. The process involves careful cleaning for the purpose of removing the plaque on the tooth surface which builds up and hardens. This is the leading cause of gum disease and inflammation. If you are experiencing swollen or sore gums, it would be best to visit Washington Dental for your dental care. We use scaling and root planing as a stand-alone treatment or a preventative measure. The procedure is commonly performed on cases of moderate to severe periodontal disease or gingivitis.
What Does Scaling And Root Planing Entail
Scaling and root planing is known as deep-cleaning, a non-surgical periodontal procedure done with no anesthetics. Both processes are used in conjunction as a single treatment requirement when plaque deposits from below the gum line. The gum tissues start to pull away from the teeth and create a pocketing effect. This is where plaque deposits form on the tooth surfaces and beneath the gums. The deposits are removed by scaling and root planing, and the gum tissue reattaches to the teeth.
Scaling — It involves the removal of calculus and tartar that is found on the tooth surface. The main process target is the area below line gum, where toothbrush and floss are out of reach. The ultrasonic scaling tool is the unique instrument used for scaling. The device includes an irrigation process that delivers antimicrobial agents to prevent oral bacteria.
We have two methods of scaling instruments that dental hygienists may use. One is hand-held instruments, where the dentist may use a curette and scaler manually to remove plaque. It is rare for one to see the plaque; the touch feeling is reliable in identifying the area buildup with tartar and rough spots. The second one is the ultrasonic instruments. It is an electronic machine that vibrates to chip off the tartar. A water spray is used to wash the tartar away and keep the tips fresh.
Root planing — Involves the extraction of calculus and dentin that is contaminated with unwanted micro-organisms and toxins. The process smoothens the root tooth, which enhances healing as well as preventing bacteria infestation. In some cases, the occlusion may require adjustment.
When Is Scaling And Root Planing Necessary
Frequently, everyone experiences some form of calculus buildup. This is usually a thin layer made from saliva, proteins, and bacteria in your mouth and covers your teeth most of the time. When eating, sugars, tiny particles, and acids from the food stick to the film, creating a film buildup on the teeth is referred to as plaque—the bacteria found in the causes of tooth decay or gum disease. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings can help to keep away the plaque and prevent more severe teeth problems.
Healthy gums fit the tissue well around the tooth and prevent bacteria from forming. However, if plaque starts to develop, the tissue loosens, which leads to gum disease. Healthy gums should attach to the tooth below the gum line at least 1-3 millimeters. Gum disease develops deeper pockets which can fill with plaque that aggravates the condition and causes more symptoms, including bad breathing.
When your dentist checks you for periodontal disease, they look at your x-rays and your teeth to decide whether you have bone loss. They will use a periodontal probe to measure the bone that holds your teeth. Any measurement above the normal range (1-3 mm) is a red flag. It means your tissue is inflamed, or your bone has sunk to a very dangerous level. Either way, if the dentist feels you need more than simple cleaning, scaling, and root planing would be necessary as the first procedure to treat your condition. Here are other symptoms of periodontitis disease that recommend for scaling and root planing:
- Red and swollen gums
- Sensitive gums
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth pain
- Pain while flossing or brushing
- Gum discoloration
- Gum recession
- persistent bad breath
As always, do not diagnose yourself. Having a dentist is the perfect way to learn whether you need to scale and plan your tooth. The dental hygienist is able to determine the problem that contributed to the symptoms and provide the best advice. When you are preoccupied with gum disease, have a dental examination immediately at Washington Dental.
Risk Factors And Common Causes that May Lead To Scaling And Root Planing
The causes of periodontal disease are what results in treatment with scaling and root planing. When you allow too much bacteria to build up in your mouth, the bacteria form a plaque on your teeth, which marks the beginning of gum disease. If left untreated, more problems can emerge. The following is a list of common causes that may lead to periodontal disease diagnosis.
- Consumption of excess sugary foods and drinks
- Long-term smoking and tobacco chewing
- Irregular brushing and flossing which leads to calculus buildup
- Family genetics of periodontitis
- Crooked teeth creating space for tartar buildup
- Long-term stress which causes inflammation
- Existing diseases such as heart disease, blood pressure, seizure, cardiovascular, and bacterial pneumonia
Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
Washington Dental will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of a patient's mouth, which may include multiple x-rays and visually examining the mouth. The procedure will depend on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar, pocket depths, and periodontitis progression. In severe cases, local anesthesia may be used during the procedure for the comfort of the patient.
The process may take multiple visits to finalize based on the number of teeth requiring scaling and root planing. In every appointment, your dentist should follow these steps:
- Anesthesia is used to desensitize the mouth surface where it will be operated on. If you are being handled in multiple areas in the mouth, each area must be numbed at a time by the dentist. The reason behind numbing every part at a given time is to ensure that the anesthesia does not wear out too quickly, and the patient is comfortable throughout the procedure.
- The hygienist will ensure that anesthesia works before he or she starts the teeth scaling and root planing all the calculus and dirt in the pockets of the periodontal. The dentist will use curettes and scalers, which are curved instruments. The tools fit in well in the spaces between the gums and the teeth, enabling the dentist to access periodontal pockets. To be fast and efficient, the dentist may alternatively use an ultrasonic scaler which is electric.
- Generally, scaling and planing are mostly divided into four quadrants; lower right, lower left, upper right, and upper left. The whole mouth procedure needs multiple appointments. When one section has been treated, the dentist stops to allow for recovery before the next visit.
- After a complete scaling and root planing procedure, you are required to go back to the dentist for follow-up. During the visits, your gums will be assessed on the effectiveness of scaling and root planing. You will be advised on how and when to take care of your enhanced gum health. In a more severe case, curbing the infection and improving oral health involves several cycles of scaling and root planing.
Why Scaling And Root Planing Is Performed
Scaling and root planing can be used both as a treatment and preventative measure. The patient undergoes this procedure to prevent other gum diseases. Below are the reasons why the dental procedure may be necessary:
When your gum pockets exceed the 3 millimeters normal depth range, there's a significant risk of periodontal infection. The deeper the pockets, the more the bacteria buildup. Later, a chronic inflammatory starts to destroy the bone tissues that may lead to tooth loss.
One of the common symptoms of periodontal disease is bad odor. Food particles and bacteria may cause a constant bad breath in the mouth, which can be enhanced with the deep cleaning procedure.
Bacteria found in the mouth can travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. The bacteria can cause different diseases, including heart disease and lung infections. By scaling and root planing, periodontal disease can be halted and prevented from traveling to other body parts.
The procedure of scaling and root planing removes tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gum line. Also, if stubborn stains are present, they are gotten rid of in the process.
Benefits Of Scaling And Root Planing
After a successful treatment, the bacteria below the gum line is removed, and the surface smoothed to enable the tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. The process reduces gum pocket depth, prevents bacteria, and lowers the chance of gum disease. Hence, teeth are less likely to loosen and fall out. Here are other more benefits for scaling and root planing:
- Restores the health of your gums
- Prevents more severe disease
- It is a painless procedure with minimal bleeding or discomfort
- Stops the progression of periodontal disease
- Promotes rapid recovery
- No surgery or sutures
Scaling and root planing may make your mouth more aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, the procedure is minimally invasive, which involves little or no downtime.
Dental Lasers For Scaling And Root Planing
Dentists have been studying the use of low-energy and high-intensity dental lasers in periodontal therapy for the last few decades. The use of dental lasers during periodontal treatment has proved to result in less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort during surgery. The laser works from a semiconductor embedded in a crystal intended for soft tissue only. It also promotes faster tissue repair and wound healing.
The dental laser has an anti-inflammatory effect from irradiating periodontitis to receive cellular stress, reducing the release of pro-inflammatory after treatment. It not only decreases bacteria but also helps to decrease overgrowth in the periodontal. The dental laser has another specialty in wound healing and tissue regeneration. This is especially beneficial in healing because of the primary intention of creating a shorter junctional-epithelium and causing less apical migration.
When a dental laser is used for scaling and root planing, with proper wavelength, the target site is irradiated, the energy is absorbed and heat generated. The dentists have been using the dental laser within each clinical trial to illuminate at the lowest output level possible, and it does not interfere with its functionality. It is proving that scaling and root planing and dental laser therapy is effective with less postoperative pain.
Does Dental Scaling And Root Planing Hurt?
The procedure of deep cleaning can be a bit uncomfortable, particularly if you have sensitive gums. Your dentist can numb your teeth roots and gums with local anesthesia to reduce your discomfort during the process. Your whole mouth can be scaled and planned in one visit. However, our dentists prefer to work with each quadrant at a time. If more cleaning is necessary, the dentist will recommend a break of the procedure up into several appointments.
Immediately after the anesthesia wears off, you experience gum tenderness. You are needed to maintain an oral health routine at least twice a day, daily flossing, and brushing. Your gums will quickly regain its firm, pink, and healthy appearance. You can also use a prescribed mouthwash to keep your gums extra clean.
In some cases, a dentist can place antibiotic fibers in the pockets between the teeth and the gums to speed up the healing process and prevent further infection. Within a week the antibiotics should be taken out, for it would have served its purpose.
Care After A Scaling And Root Planing Appointment
The first few days after scaling and root planing procedure, you may experience some bleeding, which should subside gradually. The pain, too, should be gone within a week. The gums feel swollen and tender. It is normal, do not worry yourself. Our dentist will give you tips on how to exercise the right oral hygiene to support your oral health. Below are expert tips for maintaining proper aftercare.
Brush gently — after the treatment, discomfort, and light bleeding is evident. To reduce the pain while brushing your teeth, in gentle circular motion use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush. It will take your time because you will have to do it deliberately and slowly. The discomfort and bleeding should gradually disappear after five days. However, even after the pain, you need to continue using a soft-bristled brush to prevent gums from drawing back further from the teeth.
Use a wax-coated floss — flossing should be done at least twice a day. Use a wax-coated floss not to exacerbate the gums after scaling and root planing not to trigger bleeding. Apart from flossing morning and night, you can floss after every meal to remove food particles trapped in between the teeth. If the soreness is severe and flossing makes it worse, use a Waterpik to clean between the teeth.
Use warm, salty water to soothe the gums — the teeth become sensitive to hot or cold, sweet, and spicy foods. After scaling and root planing, it is recommended that you soothe your gums using mild salt water to rinse your mouth after having heavy meals. Salty water frees up dirt without brushing. It also alleviates redness and calm inflammation.
Avoid or limit snacks intakes — the correct oral hygiene involves eating a balanced diet and having an eating plan. Any time you drink a beverage other than water, you are altering with your mouth PH as well as creating an ideal environment for bacteria. Limit snacks or avoid them if you can and compensate with healthier fruits. Rinse your mouth frequently after every meal or drink, particularly the first few days after the scaling and root planing treatment.
Do not miss your dental appointments — regular checkups and cleanings limit the tartar and plaque buildup. Some people would require to undergo several scaling treatments to have a significant change. Ensure you follow up on the regular dental visits to have long-term post-treatment success.
Change your toothbrush — it would be wise if you change your toothbrush as much as possible. The gum disease bacteria might still linger in your mouth, and you might be reapplying them whenever you are using the same toothbrush.
Scaling and root planing gives people a second chance at maintaining healthy gums. After the deep cleaning procedures, you need to take good care of your teeth. How well the procedure works depends on the aftercare you give to your teeth. If you stick to a high standard of oral hygiene as advised by the dentist, any gum disease will likely stop, and your gums will completely heal. With regular flossing and brushing, a balanced diet, and warm salt water rinse, your gums will stay clean and healthy for a long time.
Who Performs Scaling And Root Planing?
Who performs your treatment is determined by the condition and progression of your periodontal disease and how well you will respond to therapy. For instance, a general family or dentist will treat the early stage of gum disease as well as scaling and root planing. However, if your case is more advanced, the general dentist would refer you to a periodontist who is a specialist in periodontal disease diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.
A periodontist has received additional training of post-dental to deal with more advanced complex cases. The training takes three years, which includes specialized gum training and treatment methods. In a more severe case, the periodontist can perform surgical treatments like making incisions in the gums to get rid of the hardened plaque buildup and refine the bony effects.
Scaling And Root Planing Average Costs
Most dentists' offices would charge per quad, which is a quarter part of your mouth. On average, the cost should be $70 to $225 per quad. A complete procedure can cost from $800 and above. The total cost will depend on the dentist, job complications, and technique used.
A regular dental cleaning can average from $50 to $100 depending on several factors—the cost of periodontal scaling and root planing averages from $140 to $300 per quadrant. An active periodontal therapy goes for $75 per tooth. After undergoing active therapy, the maintenance cost of the periodontal disease range from $115.
An average patient may end up needing up to four visits, depending on the circumstances. A follow-up for gums checkup follows them. The patient has to regularly stick to the appointments until the gums become firm and healthy. Any additional treatment leads to extra costs. Another factor that can lead to additional charges is when your dentist administers therapy to you and later refers you to a periodontist for further checkup.
If the cost is not included in the overall cost, the dentist charges additional prices for maybe x-rays and dentist consultation fees. Since the procedure can cause some pain, painkillers, and prescribed medication may be necessary.
It would be wise if you consult with your insurer before you undergo any gum disease treatment. Get to know your insurance plan covers and procedures; this way, you will not have to strain financially. Having your teeth scaled already is saving money in the long run. The scaling and root planing prevents further gum disease and prevents other diseases from growing throughout the mouth.
Contact Dental Services Near Me
Scaling and root planing is a safe and straightforward treatment that yields good results. It prevents gum disease and enables them to heal correctly over time. The condition commonly occurs when the gums start to split from the teeth, which causes bone or tooth loss. If you or your loved one experience swollen or red gums, pain, bleeding, or irritation in the mouth, reach out to Washington Dental for professional oral health care, and your gum health will remain optimal. Schedule a dental examination with us and have your teeth and gum assessed for better treatment.