Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and Root Planing (sometimes called deep cleaning or non-surgical periodontal therapy) is usually the first step in an ongoing process to stop the destruction of periodontal disease and to keep the disease under control. Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is an infection of the gums and bone that holds your teeth in place. Periodontal disease is caused by a sticky film called plaque, which contains bacteria that produce harmful toxins. The toxins can irritate and inflame the gum tissue. Inflamed gums can pull away from the teeth forming spaces called pockets. If periodontal problems are not treated by your Fort Lee dentist, Lori M. Nasif, D.M.D., they can become severe and lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is often painless, so you may not be aware that you have a problem until the damage is already done to your gums and bone.
How it’s Done
Scaling and root planing is the process of smoothing out the root surfaces of the teeth by removing hard calculus deposits and debris from below the gums. A licensed dental hygienist will perform the SRP using special hand instruments, an ultrasonic scaler, or a combination of both.
The time needed to complete this procedure depends on the severity of the disease, the number of teeth affected, pocket depth, and amount of calculus present. Traditionally when the whole mouth needs SRP we will complete one side at a time. For most patients, the Scaling and root planing is done in two visits that are each about an hour long.
Your comfort is our top priority. While most patients find little to no discomfort during Scaling and root planing, some people like to be numb for this procedure. Lori M. Nasif, D.M.D. or one of our hygienists will discuss your numbing options.
Lori M. Nasif, D.M.D. may recommend taking further action directly after the deep cleaning is finished. He may recommend placing antibiotics directly into deeper pockets (placed by your dentist or hygienist), or an antibacterial mouthwash to be used at home.
Lori M. Nasif, D.M.D. will determine when you should return for periodontal maintenance therapy. Typically, the first maintenance visit will be somewhere between 2-4 months following scaling and root planing.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation if you want to learn more about scaling and root planing by calling Lori M. Nasif, D.M.D., your Fort Lee dentist, at (201) 224-6430.