What is Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning)?
Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) is a conservative dental treatment utilized to remove accumulated bacterial buildup in the form of plaque, calculus, and/or tarter located deep below the gumline. The effective removal of this bacterial microflora will provide the surrounding periodontal support (gums and bone) the healthy foundation to prevent/mitigate periodontal disease and associated bone/tooth loss.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, is associated with inflamed gums and with bone loss around the teeth. It is reversible with proper effective home care and routine professional dental hygiene care with your hygienist. Gingivitis that is not treated will progress to more severe Periodontal Disease. Scaling and root planing treatment is indicated to treat the more serious forms of gum disease known as periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the milder and more easily treated form of periodontal disease while Periodontitis (Periodontal Disease) is the more serious form that develops if gingivitis is not treated.
Periodontal disease is caused by localized inflammation and irritation from bacteria that reside around your gum tissues. The primary cause of gum disease is the bacteria that exists in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that attaches to teeth if not removed) and will harden over time. The accumulation of bacterial plaque causes the release of toxins. As a result of these toxins, your body’s protective inflammatory response causes deterioration of the supporting gums and bone that stabilize your teeth. If the bacterial plaques remain on your teeth, then the irreversible loss of bone holding the teeth in place will cause the teeth to become loose and fall out.
How much does Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning) cost?
Scaling and root planing is a cost-effective, non-surgical, approach to treating the early stages of periodontal disease. This treatment costs approximately $400 per quadrant (there are four quadrants in your mouth: upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left). Our 30+ years of experience ensures we are providing quality care for you and your family.
Who completes the Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning) procedures?
A determination of the health status of your teeth and gums will be completed by our office at your initial examination where will discuss your oral health goals. Proper diagnosing of your dentition will include a comprehensive oral evaluation (of both your teeth and supporting structures), oral cancer evaluation, radiographic images, and periodontal evaluation. Once all the necessary diagnostic information is attained and depending upon the presence or severity of your gingivitis or periodontal disease, we will determine the proper course of treatment. If we are able to diagnose your gingivitis or periodontal disease in the early stages, in-office treatment through scaling and root planing will be completed by our dental hygienist. Our dental hygienists have been trained in performing preventative periodontal scaling and root planing treatments. In addition, your dental hygienist is your source to provide you with the most up-to-date clinical resources for the best home care products and proper care for your teeth.
In cases where the periodontal disease is in advanced stages, our office will coordinate your care with a Periodontist. Complex Periodontal cases require a Periodontist specialist who has advanced training in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease. A Periodontist has received an additional three years of education after their four-year dental school training. The periodontist is able to perform more advanced treatments to correct and mitigate the effects of severe periodontal disease that scaling and root planing cannot treat alone. These may include, but not be limited to, dental lasers or surgical procedures.
Can my bad breath be related to needing Scaling and Root Planing?
Halitosis (bad breath) is typically noticed by family members or loved ones. Although an embarrassing condition, it can be resolved. Periodontal disease can be the cause of your bad breath. The same bacteria that causes periodontal disease could be the source of your bad breath. Once this bacterial plaque is completely removed from your teeth then your improved breath odor should be realized. Other factors to consider when addressing bad breath include gastric reflux/GERD, diet, dry mouth, sinus infections or drainage, and/or oral care. It is best to consult our dental team to eliminate periodontal disease as the cause of your bad breath.
Can I be sedated for my Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning)?
Yes. We understand your comfort and time are important. Although sedation is not required to complete your scaling and root planing procedures, it is an available option. Many of our patients appreciate how IV Moderate Sedation allows them to complete their treatment(s) in fewer visits.
What can I expect for my Scaling and Root Planing Procedures?
The scaling and root planing procedures are indicated when there is the presence of bacterial plaques in the gumline of gingival pockets. Gingival pockets greater than 3mm in depth cannot be properly cleaned with a toothbrush bristle or traditional in-office cleaning. The irritating bacterial plaque is simply too deep to remove without in-office scaling and root planing. Scaling will remove the bacterial plaque and tarter that exists below the gumline. Our hygienists will generally utilize a local anesthetic for the procedures. Although IV Moderate Sedation is also available for our patients.
Our dental hygienists, and once the proposed treatment areas are effectively comfortable with a local anesthetic, will use modern ultrasonic cleaners and small hand scalers to thoroughly remove the bacterial plaques in the periodontal pocket. Upon completion of the scaling, the root surfaces are planed or smoothed. This step prevents bacterial plaques from repopulating onto the root surfaces. In addition, it allows your gums to properly heal.
With your comfort in mind, the scaling and root planing may be performed by quadrants or by the right/left side of your mouth. Most often, we will treat the upper and lower quadrants on one side of the mouth in one appointment. Then, we will complete the opposing side a second appointment. If you choose, you may also complete all your scaling and root planing in one appointment. Our office will assist you in finding the correct allocated time to complete your care. Finally, our hygienists will provide you with detailed home care and hygiene treatment recommendations to ensure the best results.
As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our office so we may help. We understand dental care can seem overwhelming and sometimes confusing. Our experienced team will help guide you towards the healthy smile you deserve.