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Scaling and Root Planing

Everything you need to know about Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planning (Also known as Deep Cleaning or SC/RP) is one of the mostSC-RP 1 effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. This procedure cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. This should not be confused with a regular cleaning because this procedure enables the dentist to clean sub gingivaly or underneath the gum line. This procedure is normally done 1 quadrant at a time and normally patients select to have only two quadrants done per visit. The reasoning for this is SC/RP typically requires some amount of anesthesia and patients normally prefer not to have both sides of their mouth numb.

This procedure will remove plaque and calculus buildup along the roots of your teeth. Plaque accumulation tends to be thickest along the gumline. Due to the proximity of this area to the gum tissue, the bacterial plaque begins to irritate and infect the gums. This infection of the gum causes inflammation known as gingivitis, which literally means inflammation of the gingiva, or gums. Gingivitis is characterized by swelling, redness and bleeding gums. It is the first step in the decline of periodontal health, and the only step which can be fully reversed to restore one's oral health.


How Does Deep Scaling Reverse Gum Disease?

The amazing this about Scaling and Root Planing is that if done properly and maintained by the patient, it can reverse the early stages of Gum Disease. This procedure is a two fold process. The first step is called Scaling. During this step, the dentist will use one of several scalers to remove any calculus buildup also known as tartar that is just below the gum line and along the root of the tooth. The second step is called Root Planing. In this step, the Dentist will smooth out the entire root of the tooth and remove any plaque and bacteria buildup. This will prevent the spread of disease and can stop Gum Disease in its tracks. Once this procedure is performed, future bone loss is prevented and the gums will fall back into their natural position against the tooth.



What to expect during the procedure

Many patients have a fear of the dentist because they instantly assume “pain” when thinking about dentistry. In reality, the assumed pain is more mental than physical.

Prior to getting a Deep Scaling done, our staff will numb the general area with a topical anesthetic. This is done to slightly numb the area prior to receiving local anesthesia. Depending on the patient and the amount of calculus buildup, the Dentist will choose one of several local anesthetics to use. The Doctor will then administer 1 or more shots to the gum around the area where the procedure will be done. Typically the patient will feel a slight pinch in the area when getting the first shot, and if more shots are required, there are seldom felt as the area becomes numb quite quickly. Once the Dentist has verified that the patient is adequately numb, they will begin scaling and root planning. At this point the patient should not feel any pain, but if for some reason they do, they should let the team know immediately and more anesthetic will be administered.

After the procedure is complete the patient will still be numb for some time – so we advise patients not to eat until the numbness wears off as they can inadvertently bite their tongue or their lip by accident. Patients may feel a slight pain in the general area where the shot was given once the anesthetics wears off. This is completely normal and will go away within a few hours. Pain medication is normally not required, but if for any reason the patient remains in pain hours after the procedure, we advise for you to contact the office as soon as possible to speak with your Dentist. Typically after this procedure is completed, the Dentist will prescribe a special oral rinse for the patient in an effort to maintain the cleanliness and healing process around the cleaned areas.