Periodontitis is the stage of gum disease where irreversible bone loss and damage to the gums surrounding the teeth occurs. With this condition, bacteria, plaque, and tartar often sit deep below the gumline, irritating the tissues and facilitating the progression of the disease. If you have developed periodontitis, regular biannual cleanings are likely not enough to treat and manage your oral health. To arrest gum disease and restore periodontal wellness, general dentist Dr. James McDonough may recommend a nonsurgical procedure known as scaling and root planing (SRP). Performed by our experienced dental hygienists, SRP removes built-up bacteria, tartar, and plaque from deep below the gumline utilizing special scaling instruments. SRP also smoothes the surface of your teeth, creating a healthy area in which the gums can heal. If you think you may have signs of gum disease, schedule a periodontal screening at Wollaston Dental Group in Quincy, MA and find out more about scaling and root planing treatments.
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During your dental examination, Dr. McDonough or our hygienists will measure the depths of the spaces between your teeth and gums (periodontal pockets). In the event these pockets are greater than three millimeters and bone loss can be visualized on your x-rays, a scaling and root planing treatment may be recommended. A number of symptoms may indicate the presence of gum disease, including red or swollen gums, bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, loose teeth, pus around the gums, and gum recession. If gum disease is diagnosed in the periodontitis stage, SRP is often suitable to treat and control the condition. Gum disease that has reached the advanced periodontitis stage may be best treated with surgical care from a periodontist.
What To Expect
Scaling and root planing is a deep periodontal cleaning that is performed in our office using local anesthesia. Nitrous oxide sedation may also be administered if you feel anxious about receiving care. Once the treatment area is numb, our hygienists will utilize ultrasonic and hand-scaling instruments to thoroughly remove built-up plaque and tartar from beneath the gums and within your gum pockets. Your root surfaces will also be planed (or smoothed) to create a clear surface. As your gums heal, your pocket depths should decrease, minimizing the spaces where plaque, bacteria, and tartar can accumulate. Depending on the number of areas that require treatment, your SRP procedure may take place over the course of 1 – 4 office visits.
After your SRP therapy, you might have increased tooth sensitivity and gum tenderness for a couple of days, which can be relieved with nonprescription anti-inflammatory medication. Our hygienists will recommend a home care regimen tailored to your needs to help keep your gums in the best possible health between visits. The key to keeping gum disease at bay is through good home care efforts and periodontal maintenance visits scheduled every 3 – 4 months. During these appointments, we will thoroughly clean above and below the gums in areas that are difficult for you to reach on your own to keep the growth of harmful plaque bacteria at a minimum. Periodontal maintenance visits are very important to your oral health following the treatment of gum disease.
SRP is a common procedure for the treatment of gum disease and is often covered in part by dental insurance. Before your visit, a member of our billing team will contact your provider to determine your coverage and let you know of any personal expenses. Wollaston Dental Group partners will CareCredit® to bring low-cost financing solutions to our patients. A range of several convenient payment options is also accepted to help you get the care needed for your smile.
Scaling and Root Planing
Periodontitis places your smile and health at risk unless it is addressed with effective dental care. Symptoms, like bleeding or inflamed gums and bad breath, often indicate that gum disease is impacting the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Get in touch with our experienced team at Wollaston Dental Group in Quincy, MA today to schedule a visit and learn if SRP is an ideal treatment for your gum health.