Scaling and Root Planing West Orange, NJ
Also Treating Families in Short Hills and Livingston Patients
Periodontitis, better known as gum disease, is a serious condition that affects the soft tissue around your teeth. Left untreated, gum disease can even cause your adult teeth to become loose and fall out. Good oral health requires strong, healthy gums, but nearly half of all Americans over the age of 30 have some stage of gum disease.
Fortunately, gum disease is often reversible, especially when treated early. The periodontal specialists at Northfield Dental Group (Dr. Ivan Stein, Dr. Derek Widmayer, Dr. Jeffrey Shapiro, Dr. Alexandra Unger, Dr. Jonathan Mendia and Dr. Allan Stein) have helped many patients with scaling and root planing. This procedure is a deep cleaning of your mouth to remove tartar from above and below your gumline.
Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
Your dentist starts with the scaling portion of the procedure. With a vibrating tool, he can chip away at the tartar that is stuck to the teeth above the gumline. He then sprays a jet of water on the teeth to rinse the loose tartar away from the gum pockets. Finally, he uses a metal curette (scraper) to manually remove any lingering tartar on the teeth.
While root planing is also designed to remove tartar, this portion focuses on tartar trapped beneath the gumline. Your dentist uses a special tool that gently pulls the gums away from the tooth so that he can access the tooth roots. He then cleans the exposed tooth roots, removing any debris. Once the tooth is smoother, the gums can rest against the tooth more snuggly, no longer leaving pockets where bacteria easily accumulate.
Scaling and Root Planing Recovery
Although scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure, it may leave your gums feeling swollen and tender for up to a week. Discomfort can linger for a couple days, but that can be managed with pain medication. Your dentist will prescribe a mouth rinse to help relieve your discomfort and avoid infection.
A follow-up appointment is necessary to verify that your gums have healed properly and the pockets surrounding the teeth have shrunk. If scaling and root planing have not adequately addressed the problem, you may be a better candidate for flap surgery to reduce the size of the pockets in your gums.
While scaling and root planing can greatly improve the health of your mouth, the results are not indefinite. It is critical that you adopt healthy habits (like brushing twice and flossing once daily, adopting a healthy diet and quitting smoking) to maintain and improve the health of your gums and avoid advanced periodontitis.
Schedule an Appointment at Northfield Dental Group
If you have bloody, irritated gums that need treatment, or if you are simply overdue on a regular dental checkup, please make an appointment at our West Orange, NJ, office by calling (973) 736-0111. Our periodontal specialists can check on the health of your gums and determine whether scaling and root planing or some other course of action is appropriate. No matter the condition of your gums, our dentists are here to help, not pass judgment.