What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?

Gum disease can develop overtime as plaque builds up on your teeth and around your gums. The bacteria in the plaque may cause your gums to become irritated and inflamed and you may even notice your gums start to be drawn back from your teeth. When the gums pull away, pockets are created, and this is another opportunity for plaque to build up. When the plaque becomes trapped in these pockets, normal brushing and flossing cannot remove it and scaling and root planing may be necessary. Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure used to get below the gumline to treat gum disease.

Gum Disease

The good news is, when gum disease is caught and treated early on with a traditional tooth cleaning session from the dentist, you should have nothing else to worry about. Now, if you let the gum disease advance and don’t treat it, scaling and root planing may be necessary to prevent and further damage to the tooth or bone. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, then comes chronic periodontitis and at this stage, it is very likely scaling and root planing is needed.

Illustration of dental tool performing scaling and root planing

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling is the first step in the process. This is the actual plaque removal process which includes cleaning both above and below the affected gumline, and even in those hard to reach pockets. Root planing is when the dentist will attempt to reattach the gums to the teeth through smoothing out the roots of the teeth.

Arestin Option

Arestin is a bioresorbable gel which contains Minocycline Microspheres. The FDA has approved Arestin to be used for the treatment of gum disease after going through the scaling and root planing procedure. The Arestin is placed in the pocket and directly fights the gum disease infection for 30-days because of its high levels of antibiotic. Below are some Arestin Post-Op instructions to follow after receiving the Arestin therapy:

  1. Avoid contact with treated area
  2. Wait 12 hours after the treatment to brush teeth
  3. Allow 10 days to pass before flossing or other techniques to clean in between teeth, resume after 10 days
  4. Avoid crunchy, chewy and spicy foods for 1-week

To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.

More information can be found on Scaling and Root Planing

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