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What to Expect on Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

We all know how important having a nice set of teeth is. Not only it makes our smile charming, but also helps up chew and enjoy the food we eat. That is why proper oral care should be included in our daily routine. Likewise, a visit to the dentist regularly should also not be taken for granted.

Upon visit, your dentist is supposed to check the state of your oral health. One treatment you may have already experienced at least once in your life is periodontal scaling and root planing.

What is it?

This type of oral treatment involves deep cleaning of the teeth, particularly below the gum line. It is primarily done to treat or prevent the devastating effects of gum disease. Usually, gum disease is due to the presence of plaque. It is somewhat naturally-occurring on our teeth, but worsens when we don’t properly take care of it and may lead to tooth loss.

In such case that plaque catches up in your gums, professional cleaning is recommended. Such regular treatments can help eliminate plaque and prevent the effects of gum disease. However, if plaque has already seeped into your gum pockets, then root planing and scaling may be necessary.

How it works

Root planing and scaling are actually two different procedures under professional deep cleaning. First, your dentist will “scale” or scrape all plaque and tartar present along with your gum line. He or she will ensure that even the deepest crevices of the pockets are completely clean.

After the intense teeth cleaning, your dentist will then proceed with root planing. It involves smoothening out the roots of your teeth so that your teeth will reattach to the gums. However, these procedures may require a local anesthetic and more than one session to ensure its effectiveness.

Proper care and maintenance

Expect to feel pain for a few days following the procedure. You may also notice bleeding or swollen gums after the oral treatment. That is why it is essential to take extra care of your gums and teeth after the procedure to prevent potential infection. In some cases, your dentist may insert some medication into the gum pockets or a mouth rinse to prevent complications.

Make sure to follow your dentist’s orders especially if instructed to come back after a few weeks. More importantly, it would help if you had proper oral care at home especially after the procedure and the next days following that. Among common home care routines, you should do after any oral treatments include the following:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and use a soft toothbrush.
  • When brushing, please don’t rub it too hard on your teeth and gums. Instead, make some gentle circular motions to clean your gums and teeth.
  • Use dental floss between your teeth to remove food fibers and other dirt.
  • Replace worn-out toothbrushes and use toothpaste with fluoride regularly.
  • Avoid smoking to prevent damaging your teeth (and your overall health as well).

Professional cleaning may not be as complicated as other oral procedures. However, it is one of the most important dental procedures you should not ignore. Periodontal scaling and root planning is one step to better oral health