In the dental world, dentists and dental hygienists know about two procedures most of us have never heard of until we get into a dental chair. The first procedure is dental scaling. Dental scaling is usually done with the second procedure, root planing. Combined, both procedures are known as deep cleaning to treat periodontal disease (gum disease).

Obviously, they clean deeper and more extensively than a typical teeth cleaning. Another key point, scaling and root planing often take more than one dental visit and requires a local anesthetic. Accordingly, the severity of the periodontal disease and whether you have receding gums determines the extent of anesthetic needed. With that in mind, recovery from these procedures usually takes a couple of days, or longer.

Step 1 in a Deep Cleaning: Dental Scaling

The first procedure is dental scaling. This involves scraping plaque from the teeth and in any large areas between your teeth and gums. For this reason, hygienists use traditional dental tools. Other options include lasers and ultrasonic dental instruments.

Step 2 in a Deep Cleaning: Root Planing

The next procedure is root planing. Root planing is when your dentist smooths the tooth roots using a scaling tool. As a result, the smoothing helps gums reattach to your teeth. Dentists often use antimicrobial liquids for your mouth and antibiotics, so you heal faster. On some occasions, conditions require a full mouth disinfection.

The Best Procedures for Chronic Periodontal Disease

Dental scaling and root planing are common procedures. Certainly the best procedures for chronic periodontal disease. A 2015 review of journals confirms that the procedures improve the pocket gap between teeth and gums by .5 millimeters. The risks of these procedures are minimal. The most common risk is infection. Contact your dentist if you have any of the following—worsening pain, the area doesn’t heal as expected, or you have a fever.

It is always important to maintain great oral health! It is not just about your teeth. Your gums are also important. If you develop chronic periodontal disease, a periodontal maintenance cleaning schedule of every three to four months is best. Maintaining a healthy diet and cleaning and flossing your teeth twice a day helps you maintain the good results of your teeth scaling and root planing procedures.

Contact Danville Family Dentistry at 317-745-4400 to make an appointment for healthy teeth and gums!

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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.