Scaling and Root Planing

If you have a moderate case of gum disease that hasn’t quite become severe yet, then root planing and scaling is the perfect way to deal with it before it gets worse. Scaling and root planing is a process that cleans between your gums and teeth, all the way down to the roots. It is generally performed when your gums have started to pull away from the teeth, or if the roots of your teeth have deposits of tartar on them. We do this with specialized tools to scrape the plaque out. We may also place special antibiotic fibers between your teeth and gums during this procedure, which will help the healing process. These will be removed about a week after the procedure is done. In many cases, we’ll administer a local anesthetic before beginning this process.

What To Expect

Anesthesia will generally cause your gums and lips to be numb for a few hours, even after the procedure is done. Scaling and root planing will likely cause very little discomfort (should anesthesia be used) if any at all. With good dental care after your scaling and planing, your gums should start to recover from gum disease. Over time, your gums will become healthy and strong again.

Are There Any Risks?

In some cases, this process can put harmful bacteria into your bloodstream, placing your gums at risk of possible infection. Antibiotic strips make this less likely, and it may be necessary to take antibiotics before the procedure as well, to reduce the odds of infection. This is especially important if your immune system is impaired, if you have heart problems or have had a recent major surgery. If any of these are the case for you, please let us know before the procedure begins and we’ll do everything we can to lower your risk of infection.