If you have developed the signs of gum disease or you have skipped several dental cleaning appointments, we may recommend that you undergo deep cleaning treatment. At the practice of Dr. John Van, a deep cleaning, also known as root planing and scaling, is just one of the general dentistry services that we offer to maintain your oral health. This treatment enables us to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria that has built up below the gum line. To find out if root planing and scaling is right for you, contact our Mountain View, CA practice today.
The Root Planing and Scaling Procedure
Root planing and scaling treatment is typically performed in two or four treatment sessions. We may clean half of the mouth during a single appointment, or we may break up the treatment into four sessions, in which one quadrant of the mouth is treated during each appointment.
To begin treatment, we will administer local anesthesia, or numbing medication, for your comfort. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, we will start the deep cleaning process. First, we will use special tools and a dental laser to clean the tooth and tooth’s root. The scaling tool breaks up and removes debris below the gum line, while the laser eliminates bacteria. Next, we will plane the tooth’s roots. This involves the use of special tools to smooth the roots, making it more difficult for plaque and bacteria to accumulate.
Root Planing and Scaling Aftercare
After root planing and scaling treatment is complete, we recommend that patients eat soft foods to prevent discomfort and avoid foods with small seeds to prevent food particles from getting trapped in the healing periodontal pockets. We may also prescribe antibiotics or mouthwash to further eliminate infection.
In the weeks after root planing and scaling treatment, the gum tissue should re-attach to the teeth, restoring periodontal health. Patients should maintain a good oral hygiene regimen, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing the dentist every six months to avoid dental problems in the future.
Candidates for Root Planing and Scaling
Root planing and scaling is an effective treatment for gum disease. Gum disease is caused by a build up of plaque, calculus, and bacteria along and beneath the gum line. This build up results in inflamed gums that gradually begin to pull apart from the teeth, forming periodontal pockets. Left untreated, the infection will spread and the pockets will grow, which can lead to loose teeth or tooth loss.
Root planing and scaling can be performed to remove the accumulation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria, smooth the tooth roots, and encourage the gums to re-attach to the teeth.
Patients that have not seen a dentist in a year or more are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Because they have not visited a dentist for professional dental cleanings, debris and bacteria have built up at and below the gum line. This is why we frequently recommend a deep cleaning to patients that have missed several dental appointments.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Van, contact our practice today.