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Ridgewood Dental Associates

Treating Gum Disease with Root Planing and Scaling

By on January 13, 2015

A woman with bright, white, healthy looking teeth, sitting in a fieldIf you suffer from gum disease, root planing and scaling treatment may be able to help. Root planing and scaling is a deep cleaning procedure that is highly effective at treating gum disease and restoring oral health. At Ridgewood Dental Associates, we offer a wide variety of general dentistry treatments to improve your oral health and keep your smile at its best for years to come. Read on to learn how root planing and scaling can help restore your oral health.

What Is Root Planing and Scaling Treatment?

Root planing and scaling is a deep cleaning treatment used to remove plaque and tartar beneath the gum line to help prevent bacterial infection and close pockets between the teeth and gums. Pockets are gaps between the teeth and gums that form as a result of plaque and tartar buildup and are a major contributor to gum disease. If left untreated, pockets can result in tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Root planing and scaling treatment is a non-invasive gum disease treatment. Root planing and scaling treatment offers a shorter recovery time over more aggressive gum disease treatments such as gingivectomy or flap procedures, and can also prevent the need for root canal therapy or dental extractions.

The Root Planing and Scaling Procedure

Root planing and scaling is a simple procedure, typically performed in a single dental visit. During treatment, the gums are numbed with a local anesthetic and the teeth are gently scraped clean with a metal scraping tool, an ultrasonic tool, or a combination of both. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned at and below the gum line, reaching to the tooth roots. The roots are then smoothed to prevent future accumulation of plaque. For those with more severe pockets, antibiotic fibers may be placed between the teeth and gums to help the gums heal and reduce the risk of infection. After about a week, the fibers will be removed.

Root Planing and Scaling Aftercare

Root planing and scaling is effective at treating gum disease and closing pockets, but its success greatly depends on patient aftercare. Without proper aftercare, gum disease will return and pockets may again develop. Fortunately, aftercare is as simple as practicing proper oral hygiene. This means you should brush for at least two full minutes at a time, twice a day. Be sure to pay special attention to the gum line and the hard to reach back teeth. Flossing is also key. Floss at least once a day, being sure to floss as far into the gum line as possible on each side of the tooth. Also, be sure to see your dentist at least once every six months for a check-up and professional cleaning. Check-ups and professional cleanings keep gum disease at bay and catch other dental issues at their earliest stages.

Schedule a Consultation

Don't let gum disease go untreated. To find out if root planing and scaling is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation today!

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Ridgewood Office

166 Franklin Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

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