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Periodontics & Implantology Blog

Latest news and info on what's happening at San Antonio Periodontics and Implants.

Are Scaling and Root Planing Necessary For Me?


Many people believe that dental work is painful, but with today’s technology and knowledge, beneficial dental work will most likely cause only minor discomfort, in most cases. At San Antonio Periodontics & Implants, our staff is trained to be gentle and to make sure your experience with us is as comfortable as possible.

Scaling and root planing, while sounding a little scary, is actually a very beneficial procedure that can help you keep your teeth is the best of shape. Scaling and root planing is not a surgical procedure, but more of a deep cleaning that is necessary when harmful bacteria-caused plaque begins to threaten your healthy teeth and gums.

When is Scaling and Root Planing Recommended?

When plaque accumulates in the area along and just below the gumline to the point where gums are beginning to recede from the teeth, the health of your gums and teeth become at risk for more serious oral problems and even tooth loss. Scaling may be the first procedure your dental practitioner recommends to begin fighting back.

When your dental practitioner observes rough spots in the roots of your teeth, he/she will most likely recommend root planing during your scaling procedure. Rough spots on the roots make it hard for gums to attach to teeth properly and also cause small pockets – the perfect areas for bacteria to hide and cause faster development of periodontal disease.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Using a local anesthesia, scaling is performed using a specialized dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. Your oral care professional will use this tool, most likely along with irrigation, to scrape away harmful plaque, bacteria and calculus. If rough roots are noticed, they will be smoothed out, cleaned, scraped and disinfected, allowing gums to have a smoother space to reattach.

Will Scaling and Root Planing Damage My Teeth?

In the hands of a professional, scaling and root planing will cause no damage to your teeth and gums. The damage caused by harmful bacteria, plaque, gingivitis and periodontitis is far more serious and will cause painful gum swelling, bleeding, eventual tooth loss and other, more serious, complications. At San Antonio Periodontics & Implants, our professionals have many years of experience in successful scaling and root planing procedures.

Will I Be In Pain After Scaling and Root Planing?

Your gums may feel sensitive to heat, cold and sweets for a few days after your scaling and root planing procedure. Over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can help. Using a soft toothbrush with gentle pressure is all you need for the first 72 hours after your procedure. At San Antonio Periodontics & Implants, we’ll give you after care instructions to help manage any tenderness you might feel.

To summarize, scaling and root planing are deep clean procedures dental professionals use to address beginning gum issues and disease in order to halt the progression into something far more serious. Remember, it is important to visit your dental care professional twice a year for regular checkups and to stay ahead in the goal of keeping your smile as healthy as possible.

Contact San Antonio Periodontics & Implants for more information or schedule an appointment online.

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