What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, a regular cleaning might not be sufficient enough to address this condition. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is typically treated with a general cleaning and better home care techniques. But if gingivitis progresses to the periodontitis stage of gum disease, a scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure may be the appropriate course of care. Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical procedure our skilled team performs to remove built-up bacteria, plaque, and tartar from the below the gumline. Using special tools, an SRP treatment in LANCO Dental Care cleans out periodontal pockets, then smoothes the root surfaces of the teeth to help prevent further buildup. If you are noticing bleeding, bad breath, or other signs of gum disease, schedule a visit at our Lancaster, PA family dental practice today and learn if SRP can help improve your oral health.
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What Are the Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is an effective restorative dental procedure to treat periodontitis. This treatment offers several oral health benefits. A few of the benefits scaling and root planing can have for Lancaster, PA patients include:
- A safe and effective treatment for gum infections
- Prevents tooth decay
- Treats Halitosis
- Protects your tooth roots from bacteria and infection
- Reduces the risk of tooth loss
Is SRP Right for Your Needs?
The early signs of periodontal disease are chronic bad breath and gums that are tender, swollen, bleed easily, appear red, or have begun to recede. At your dental examination, our team will measure the depths of your gum pockets (spaces separating your teeth and gums). In the event the pockets are greater than three millimeters and we can see evidence of bone loss on your x-rays, then a gum disease diagnosis may be rendered and scaling and root planing therapy recommended. When gum disease is discovered in the early stages, we can often treat and arrest the disease process with a nonsurgical approach. For cases that have progressed to the advanced periodontitis stage, however, we may partner with a periodontal specialist for surgical treatment options. If you notice any signs of gum disease between dental visits, please schedule an appointment with our team for a periodontal screening as early as possible.
What Should I expect During the SRP Treatment process?
Scaling and root planing is a deep, below-the-gum cleaning that can be carried out in our office. To keep you comfortable, we may administer local anesthesia to the areas of your mouth being addressed. SRP is typically performed by our well-trained dental hygienists who may utilize advanced ultrasonic and special hand instruments to remove plaque and tartar deposits from below the gumline. The root surfaces of teeth will be subsequently planed or smoothed to reduce the number of areas where plaque and tartar can collect and promote gum tissue reattachment to the tooth. SRP is generally completed in quadrant sections (per quarter of the mouth) and may take place over the course of 1 – 4 appointments, depending on individual needs.
What CAN I expect After My SRP Treatment?
Following your SRP treatment, you may notice gum tenderness or tooth sensitivity for a day or two. Our team will work closely with you to personalize an oral hygiene routine at home and offer tips on how to make brushing and flossing most effective. A periodontal maintenance program may also be established to help you better manage your gum health and prevent the progression of periodontitis. Generally scheduled every 3 – 4 months, periodontal maintenance visits include very thorough cleanings, gum evaluations, and general exams and take the place of biannual prophylaxis cleanings.
Scaling and Root Planing FAQ
Does scaling and root planing hurt?
Periodontal disease treatments can be performed in a series of visits. SRP treatments are typically broken up to make sure the affected area in your mouth is healed before moving on to a new round of treatment. A local anesthetic will be used during each treatment to ensure that you remain comfortable. Though you should not experience any pain, your gums may be sore for a few days following each treatment.
What are some specific scaling and root planning home care instructions to follow?
When you brush your teeth after receiving a gum disease treatment, we recommend brushing very gently for a couple of days. It is also suggested that you stick to eating soft foods for the first few days after a scaling and root planing treatment as you may experience some sensitivity and soreness.
What can you eat after scaling and root planning?
For the following days after your scaling and root planing treatment, you should maintain a soft food diet. A soft food diet is made up of foods like yogurt, soups, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and other foods that are easy to chew. If you have any further questions about the aftercare of scaling and root planing, contact our Lancaster, PA office to speak with our team.
Arrest the Disease Process
Gum disease poses a significant risk to your oral and general health. But with timely care, we can help you prevent its progression and preserve the health of your mouth. To learn if gum disease is affecting your smile and more about the nonsurgical scaling and root planing option for treatment, please contact LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA, to schedule an appointment.