Scaling & Root Planing: What it is and Why Your Dentist Recommends it | Pasadena, CA
Have you ever heard your dentist mention the term “scaling and root planing” during one of your check-ups and wondered what it meant? If so, you’re not alone! Many people are unaware of the importance of this procedure in maintaining optimal oral health. Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque, tartar, and bacteria from deep within the gums, helping to prevent gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. In this blog post, we’ll break down what scaling and root planing is and why your dentist recommends it. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of this crucial aspect of dental care and why it’s an important part of maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that is performed by a dental professional, typically a dentist or a dental hygienist. During the procedure, your dentist will use special tools to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria that have accumulated on your teeth, below the gum line, and within the deeper pockets of your gums. This procedure is necessary because plaque and tartar can cause inflammation and infection in the gums, leading to gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
The first step of the scaling and root planing procedure is scaling, which involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and along the roots of your teeth. This step is typically performed with special dental instruments such as scalers, curettes, and ultrasonic scalers.
The second step is root planing, which involves smoothing out rough spots on the roots of your teeth where bacteria can easily accumulate. This step helps to prevent the re-accumulation of plaque and tartar, and makes it easier for your gums to reattach to your teeth.
Scaling and root planing is a comfortable and safe procedure that can be performed with local anesthetic, if necessary. After the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity and tenderness in your gums, but these symptoms usually resolve within a few days.
Your dentist may recommend this procedure if you have gum disease, or if you have a high risk of developing gum disease.
How Do I Prepare For A Scaling and Root Planing Procedure?
Preparing for a scaling and root planing procedure is easy and straightforward. Here are some tips to help you get ready:
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist: Before the procedure, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss the procedure and make sure that it’s right for you. Your dentist will also answer any questions you may have and provide instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.
- Inform your dentist of any medical conditions or medications: It’s important to inform your dentist of any medical conditions or medications you are taking, as they may affect the procedure and your recovery.
- Brush and floss before the procedure: To minimize the amount of plaque and tartar on your teeth, it’s important to brush and floss thoroughly before the procedure. This will help to reduce the length of the procedure and minimize discomfort.
- Wear comfortable clothing: On the day of the procedure, wear comfortable clothing that allows you to relax and be comfortable during the procedure.
- Arrange for transportation: If you’re receiving local anesthetic, you’ll need to arrange for transportation home after the procedure as you will not be able to drive.
By following these simple steps, you’ll be well prepared for your scaling and root planing procedure and can look forward to a comfortable and successful outcome.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Scaling and Root Planing?
Like any medical procedure, scaling and root planing has its pros and cons. Here’s a rundown of the key advantages and disadvantages:
Prevents gum diseases: Scaling and root planing helps to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from deep within the gums, preventing gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Improves oral health: The procedure helps to maintain optimal oral health and prevent the development of gum diseases, which can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
Promotes a healthy smile: By removing plaque and tartar and maintaining optimal oral health, scaling and root planing can help to promote a healthy and beautiful smile.
Minimally invasive: Scaling and root planing is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed comfortably and safely.
Temporary discomfort: After the procedure, you may experience some temporary discomfort and sensitivity in your gums, but these symptoms usually resolve within a few days.
Cost: Scaling and root planing can be expensive, especially if it’s not covered by your dental insurance.
Time commitment: The procedure can take several hours, depending on the extent of plaque and tartar accumulation and the number of teeth being treated.
While there may be some temporary discomfort and cost associated with the procedure, these are outweighed by the benefits of maintaining optimal oral health. If you have questions or concerns about scaling and root planing, don’t hesitate to talk to our dentists. They’ll be happy to provide more information and help you determine if this procedure is right for you.
Scaling and root planing is a critical procedure for maintaining optimal oral health and preventing gum diseases. By removing plaque and tartar, the procedure helps to promote a healthy smile and prevent serious health problems. If you’re concerned about gum diseases or want to take steps to maintain optimal oral health, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist. They’ll be able to provide more information and help you determine if this procedure is right for you.
At our dental clinic, we’re committed to providing high-quality, personalized dental care to all of our patients. We believe that everyone deserves a healthy smile, and we’re here to help you achieve just that. So don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier smile!