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Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a treatment that removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line. At Greater Long Island Dental in Long Island, NY, Dr. Stephen Rogers and his team can administer this non-surgical gum disease treatment to resolve the condition in its early stages. Gum disease has been linked to a variety of systemic health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. Scaling and root planing can be highly beneficial to your oral health as well as your overall health.

scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing is a process of removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line to prevent or treat gum disease.

When is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

Every patient requires regular dental cleanings to maintain optimal oral health. However, when gum disease develops, more involved treatment becomes necessary. 

To determine if you are a candidate for scaling and root planing, we will perform a full assessment of your oral health. X-rays will be taken to evaluate the condition of the surrounding bone tissue. Using a special instrument called a periodontal probe, the pocket depths around each tooth will be measured. A healthy tooth will measure approximately one to three millimeters. Four millimeters indicates gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, while anything over five millimeters indicates periodontitis, a more advanced stage. 

If you are diagnosed with mild to moderate gum disease, scaling and root planing may be recommended. Symptoms include:

  • Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Swelling or inflammation of the gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath or bad taste

Schedule a consultation with us as soon as possible if you begin experiencing any of these symptoms.

The Treatment Process

Local anesthesia will be provided to numb the teeth and surrounding tissues. Nitrous oxide can also be provided for additional comfort. Your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned with a combination of hand scalers and ultrasonic instruments. After cleaning deep below the gum line, the root surfaces will be smoothed to discourage further plaque and bacteria accumulation.

Treatments such as scaling and root planing can help reduce the risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

After Scaling and Root Planing

Tooth sensitivity is quite common after treatment, and can be accompanied by tenderness, inflammation, or slight bleeding. You may be given prescription medications or mouth rinses, which should be taken exactly as directed. You should resume normal brushing and flossing immediately.

Your gums will continue to heal for several weeks. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up visit to monitor your progress and determine the best way to maintain your periodontal health.

Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

Excellent periodontal health benefits your overall health. Treatments such as scaling and root planing can reduce the risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. If you are diabetic, you face an increased risk of developing gum disease, and should speak to our dentists about ways we can help you maintain your oral health.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are experiencing signs of periodontal disease, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to find out if scaling and root planing or another periodontal treatment is right for you. You can call our office at (516) 468-7103 or contact us online.

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