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Clarkson Dental Group
1748 Clarkson Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017
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Scaling and Root Planing 101: What It Is, Why It's Needed, and How Much It Costs

March 31, 2021
Posted By: Dr. Scott Mahlin
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A beautiful smile means more than having strong, healthy teeth. Gum health is also integral to the longevity and vitality of your smile. At Clarkson Dental Group, we provide patients with exceptional periodontal treatment and gum disease prevention. One of the ways we help patients keep their gums healthy is through scaling and root planing. 

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) is a conservative dental treatment used to remove 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 gums and bone a healthy foundation to prevent gum disease and associated bone and 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. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more severe periodontal disease. Scaling and root planing is used to treat the more serious forms of periodontal disease. 

Periodontal disease is caused by localized inflammation and irritation from bacteria that reside around your gum tissues. 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 bones that support your teeth. If the bacterial plaques remain on your teeth, then the gums and bone can become loose, resulting in tooth loss. 

How Much Does Scaling and Root Planing Cost?

Scaling and root planing is a cost-effective, non-surgical approach to treating the early stages of periodontal disease. There are four quadrants in your mouth: upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left. This treatment costs approximately $400 per quadrant. 

How Do You Determine If I Need Treatment? 

We will first perform a comprehensive oral evaluation and discuss your oral health goals. During the session, we will examine your teeth, gums, and supporting structures and take radiographic images, screen for oral cancer, and complete a periodontal chart. Based on our findings, we will design a personalized treatment plan. 

In cases where the periodontal disease is in advanced stages, our office will coordinate your care with a periodontist. The periodontist can perform more advanced treatments to correct and mitigate severe disease effects that scaling and root planing cannot treat alone. These may include, but not be limited to, dental lasers or surgical procedures.

What’s the Scaling and Root Planing Procedure?

In-office treatment through scaling and root planing will be completed by our skilled and specially trained dental hygienist. The hygienist will first apply a local anesthetic and use specialized tools to gently and deeply remove plaque from below the gumline. 

Once the periodontal pocketthe spaces below the gumline surrounding the teethare thoroughly cleaned, we will plane and smooth the root surfaces to prevent more bacteria from entering. Finally, our hygienists will provide you with detailed home care and hygiene treatment recommendations to ensure the best results.

Is This Procedure Painful?

Because your comfort is important to us, we offer moderate IV sedation to ease your nerves and provide additional relaxation. However, scaling and root planing only require a local anesthetic to numb the area during treatment. We can also perform the scaling and root planing in sections, so you don’t have to receive the full treatment in one office visit. 

Gentle Periodontal Treatment in Chesterfield, MO

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. Contact us today for more information about traditional treatment and gum disease prevention. 

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