Scaling and root planing, referred to as “deep cleaning” is a procedure used to conservatively treat an infectious disease called periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease starts with the formation of plaque around teeth. Plaque is the soft film on your teeth caused by food and bacteria in your mouth. When plaque build-up mixes with saliva, it hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar containing bacteria irritates the gums by attaching to the outer surface of the teeth and releasing poisonous toxins. These toxins cause infection and inflammation of the gums. Worse, if left untreated they can ultimately cause bone loss and eventually tooth loss. Keep in mind the lost bone will never grow back.
Fortunately, scaling and root planing can help. Scaling and root planing is a procedure that treats the infected area by meticulously cleaning the tartar and bacteria from the teeth and their roots.
At Smile Builders®, your dentist performs scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) in a couple of visits, usually scheduled in two separate appointments. Prior to the procedure, we often numb the areas to be treated with local anesthesia making the procedure virtually painless. Because inflamed gum tissue is more sensitive than healthy tissue, the anesthesia allows us to accomplish our goals by thoroughly removing the bacteria and toxins from the root of the teeth.
The goal of the procedure is to eliminate infection. We accomplish this by removing the bacteria that has attached to your teeth and their roots under the gum. The deep cleaning is completed with hand instruments (scalers) and ultra-sonic instruments.
Periodontal disease cannot be cured in moderate to advance cases, it can only be controlled, so it is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for follow-up maintenance and treatment. In addition to routine check-ups, performing proper dental hygiene at home is the most important step you can take to help prevent the re-occurrence of this destructive disease.
We at Smile Builders® schedule a follow up appointment 1 month following your deep cleaning, at which time we will re-evaluate the areas that were treated to check the status of your gums. If any areas do not heal and reattach, your dentist will determine if there needs to be treatment with surgical approach. However, if pockets have decreased and are 3 mm or less in depth, they will be monitored on a yearly basis thru periodontal charting exams during your hygiene visits. Your appointments with your dentist at Smile Builders® will now be periodontal maintenance appointments every 3 months.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends to us, that once a patient has periodontal disease we cannot treat a periodontal patient as health patient (non-periodontal). This, their recommendations is a deep cleaning followed by a 3 month periodontal maintenance cleanings. We at Smile Builders® are committed to “TREATING OUR PATIENTS AS DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY EVIDENCE-BASED LITERATURE AND THE ADA RECOMMENDATION”.
Periodontal maintenance cleaning appointments are schedule every 3 months with your dentist. The dentist will specifically treats the areas where “pocketing” is still present going deeper, then the typical 3 mm or less that they go during regular cleanings. At the one year anniversary of the re-evaluation appointment with your periodontist your Dentist will measure the pocket depths again, and if the pockets do resolve (become less that 3 mm pockets) and re-attachment occurs your dentist can then schedule you for a prophylaxis cleanings, the intervals will be dependent on your home care regimen, either at 4 or 6 month intervals.
If you are suffering from periodontal disease or simple need to schedule a regular hygiene appointment, please call Smile Builders® today.