Periodontal disease is a serious condition of the gums that should not go left untreated. If a dentist is not seen to treat the gums, the individual may begin losing teeth. While periodontal disease is serious, there are several types of valuable treatments available.
Surgery is a common form of action, but depending on the severity of the condition, a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planning may be suitable.
Overview of the Process
Scaling and root planning is actually a deep teeth cleaning procedure that is ideal in the early stages of periodontal disease. During this time, the individual’s teeth may develop pockets or abnormal spaces between the teeth. If these pockets increase in size, the teeth will begin to pull away from the gum and eventually fall out.
The excessive bacteria that exist on the teeth may also be accidentally swallowed and make the individual feel ill. This situation is very serious for individuals with heart-related conditions because the bacteria can enter they bloodstream and cause inflammation in the chambers of the heart.
Scaling and root planing is typically administered as a single treatment under local anesthesia, unless there is a significant amount of tooth damage. During the “scaling” part of the procedure the dentist uses mechanical tools to remove excess bacteria from the teeth. The bacteria may be in the form of plaque, tartar, or decay.
The “planing” portion of the procedure involves cleaning below the gum level. Since bacteria may not be visible, the dentist feels for rough surfaces and uses a hand instrument to remove any debris or bacteria. There are two common types of hand instruments: an ultrasonic or scraping tool. Dental patients tend to prefer the ultrasonic tool because it causes less discomfort.
To determine if an individual’s periodontal disease is suitable for scaling and root planing, dentists use a guideline provided by the American Dental Association (ADA). According to the ADA, gum disease that extends between 3-6 millimeters below the gum line is suitable for scaling and root planning. Gum disease that is deeper than this amount probably requires surgery.
After the Procedure
Since scaling and root planing involves the dentist working on sensitive areas of the teeth and gums, individuals may experience some soreness, pain, and mild bleeding after the procedure. The individual may also notice a temporary sensitivity to hot or cold beverages.
In most cases, over-the-counter medicine is sufficient to relieve the symptoms. The dentist should be contacted if they last for an extended period of time.
Source by David L Greene