Safest Teeth Whiteners
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Scaling and root planing is a deep teeth cleaning. It's considered a restorative dental procedure. The dentist removes plaque and calculus (tartar) above and below the gumline.
The procedure is recommended if you have periodontal disease (periodontitis).
The cost of treatment depends on the dentist’s location and if you have insurance. However, it averages between $140 and $300 (per quadrant). There are four quadrants in the mouth.
Periodontitis is initiated by the long-term buildup of plaque and calculus located:
Dental plaque accumulates when you neglect oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day can help prevent plaque.
Routine teeth cleanings are also essential. Dental hygienists use special tools to clean your teeth. They are able to remove plaque that can't be removed with a normal toothbrush.
Unremoved plaque hardens into tartar. Bacteria accumulate and spread to the gums, causing inflammation.
Gingivitis (early gum disease) forms as a result. Fortunately, this type of gum disease is reversible with professional teeth cleanings in its early stages.
If gingivitis is left untreated, periodontitis will develop with time. It's a severe type of gum disease that can't be reversed (only slowed down).
As the gums become more irritated, they separate from the teeth, Deep spaces called periodontal pockets are formed.
Plaque and tartar move into these spaces, leading to symptoms like:
These are indicators of periodontitis.
Untreated periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. This is why prompt treatment (scaling and root planing) is necessary.
Scaling and root planing restores oral health and prevents advanced gum disease from worsening. The procedure removes plaque and calculus above and below the gumline.
Some people are more predisposed to developing periodontitis than others. If you start noticing symptoms, schedule a dentist visit immediately.
Scaling and root planing removes plaque, hardened tartar (calculus), and stains from the teeth and roots.
This procedure is typically separated into two appointments. During the first appointment the upper and lower quadrants on one side of your mouth are cleaned. The other two quadrants are cleaned in the second appointment.
Scaling and root planing consists of the following steps:
Scaling and root planing requires local anesthesia. This is a membrane-stabilizing drug that controls pain and helps prevent hemorrhaging.
Local anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia used in minorly invasive dental procedures.
A dentist injects the drug into the mouth and numbs the treated area. After about five minutes, you'll feel a temporary loss of sensation.
You'll remain awake and conscious during the procedure but won't feel any pain. You might feel some tenderness at the injection site during and after treatment.
The second step in the procedure is subgingival scaling.
This is when a general dentist, periodontist, or dental hygienist removes plaque and calculus:
Scaling is either done manually or with an ultrasonic instrument, such as a Calvitron. Both techniques effectively remove plaque and hardened tartar.
The scaler is placed in the pocket with the bevel at an angle between 45 and 90 degrees to the tooth. The teeth and root surfaces are scraped and cleaned in a vertical, circular, or horizontal motion.
Dentin, cementum, enamel, and dental pulp are the four main components of teeth.
As periodontitis persists, the disease will damage the cementum, dentin, or both. Root planing is an attempt to smooth rough surfaces and remove the subgingival bacteria.
During root planing, the dentist cleans deep below the gums to remove plaque and tartar buildup on the roots of teeth where the bones are affected by the infection.
Planing completely removes the cementum, the calcified film covering a tooth’s root.
The procedure may also involve the removal of a small superficial layer of dentin, which is the second layer of a tooth located below the enamel.
After the procedure is complete, your dentist flushes the area to remove any remaining bacteria. Then they will apply pressure to ensure proper gum tissue growth.
You'll likely experience some discomfort after the procedure. Properly healed gums appear as well-adapted, firm, and normally shaped tissue.
Scaling and root planing typically requires two visits to your dentist's office. It's a relatively safe and painless procedure.
The following side effects typically resolve within a few days:
Good oral hygiene is crucial for preventing chronic periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the most serious form of gum disease that causes permanent bone loss that can't grow back. Severe periodontal disease also requires invasive surgery.
To prevent the need for surgery, practice good oral care at home. This includes:
Follow-up appointments are also necessary a few weeks after treatment. The dentist will examine your healing gums and ensure the periodontal pockets have decreased in size. If the pockets are deeper than 3mm, another procedure may be needed.
If you have severe periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing treatment at least twice a year.
However, if your gums and teeth are healthy after the first procedure, you'll only need dental checkups twice a year. During these appointments, you'll undergo a regular teeth cleaning and exam.
Scaling and root planing can have minor side effects, normally resolving after a few days. It's important to practice good oral hygiene to prevent the recurrence of periodontal disease.
The long-term buildup of plaque and tartar below the gum line can loosen your teeth from the gum pockets.
Scaling and root planing doesn't loosen your teeth.
Teeth scaling takes one to two hours to complete. The treatment is done in one office visit.
Your teeth and gums will heal quickly after a deep cleaning.
You may feel some discomfort for a few days post-op and tooth sensitivity may occur for up to six weeks after treatment. This is a normal part of the healing process.
Scaling and root planing is also known as a deep cleaning.
No, not usually.
You won't feel pain because a local anesthetic is administered before the procedure. Minor discomfort and sensations after treatment are completely normal.
To prevent the progression of periodontal disease (advanced gum disease), scaling and root planing treatment is necessary.
Left untreated, the disease can cause tooth loss.
Your gums should heal within one to two weeks post-op.