Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing: A Non-Surgical Treatment for Gum Disease

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Periodontal disease is a damaging condition that affects millions of Americans. While proper oral hygiene certainly helps to keep the infection-causing bacteria at bay, many patients are genetically predisposed to gum disease. When diagnosed early, gum disease can be treated non-surgically with periodontal scaling and root planing. At Walnut Pond Dental in Annandale, NJ, Drs. Victoria Uryniak and Carson Ferris-Zeolla provide this service to help patients keep their smiles healthy.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is similar to a routine dental cleaning. However, the gums are numbed so that the clinician can clean even deeper into the gum line. This minimally-invasive treatment effectively flushes out plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cannot be reached with brushing and flossing alone. This will reduce infection and bad breath.

Am I a Candidate for Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is incredibly effective for patients with gingivitis or mild to moderate periodontal disease. Severe periodontitis will need to be addressed with more extensive treatment. At Walnut Pond, we work alongside a trusted periodontist when necessary.

Scaling and Root Planing Treatment Process

Scaling and root planing can be performed under local anesthesia. During your initial consultation, our doctors will talk with you to determine an option that will meet your needs. After administering local anesthesia for your comfort, the clinician will thoroughly clean your teeth with a combination of ultrasonic instruments, hand scalers and sometimes a laser. After removing the tartar and plaque deposits, the roots of your teeth will be smoothed to discourage further plaque from accumulating.

Healing and Recovery

Following your periodontal scaling and root planing procedure, you may notice tooth sensitivity. This is normal, and should dissipate over time. Most patients report little to no pain after this procedure. However, any discomfort can be addressed with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Due to the non-surgical nature of the procedure, you should be able to resume normal daily activities as soon as you leave our office.

Periodontal Maintenance

After the first few weeks of healing, we will schedule you for a follow-up visit to re-assess your gum health and measure the pockets around the teeth. If you have shown marked improvement, we will determine a cleaning schedule that will best meet your needs. While most dental patients receive cleanings every six months, patients who are prone to periodontal issues typically require more frequent visits. Most of our patients who undergo scaling and root planing will necessitate cleanings every three to four months to maintain optimal oral health.

If you still show signs of uncontrolled gum disease, we will discuss your options. In many cases, we will recommend that you have a consultation with a periodontist to determine a customized treatment plan that will adequately address the bacteria. Whatever it takes, we will do all we can to eliminate gum disease and help you achieve the smile you desire.

Schedule a Consultation at Walnut Pond Dental

If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding, tender, or swollen gums, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. We can help you establish a plan that will address your individual dental needs. You can contact us online anytime, or call our office at (908) 200-7007.