If you have developed symptoms of gum (periodontal) disease, a regular cleaning might not be sufficient enough. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is usually treated with scaling and root planing (SRP). This is a nonsurgical procedure performed by our board-certified Dental Health team to help eliminate gum disease by removing built-up plaque and tartar from the gumline. Using special tools, an SRP treatment cleans out the gum pockets then smoothes the teeth to prevent future buildup. If you are concerned about your gums, learn more about scaling and root planing at Dental Health in Brattleboro, VT.
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During your dental exam, a member of the Dental Health team will check the depth of your gum pockets. If the pockets, also known as sulcus, are greater than three millimeters, a scaling and root planing treatment may be recommended. SRP helps to reduce the size of your gum pockets so plaque and bacteria cannot collect in this area, which leads to the first stage of gum disease (gingivitis). Some of the early symptoms of gum disease are chronic bad breath, loose teeth, as well as gums that are swollen, tender, bleed easily, appear red, or are receding. If gum disease is caught early, one or more SRP treatments can reverse symptoms; however, if gum disease has progressed to later stages (periodontitis or advanced periodontitis), then you may require more extensive treatments.
What To Expect
Scaling and root planing is a deep periodontal cleaning that can be performed in our office with local anesthesia to numb the areas being treated. We may also recommend one of our sedation dentistry techniques if you feel anxious about having this procedure. Our team will use a scaling instrument to clean out built-up plaque and tartar in your gum pockets. We will then smooth or plane the exterior of the tooth to reduce the number of areas where plaque and tartar can become trapped to prevent future buildup.
After your SRP treatment, you may experience increased gum and tooth sensitivity, as well as some numbness from the local anesthetic. We may prescribe antibiotics to help eliminate any remaining bacteria from your gums. You should follow a good oral care routine at home, including proper brushing and flossing, to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. You should also schedule annual dental exams so our team can assess the health of your gums and teeth, plus bi-annual appointments to have your mouth professionally cleaned. Depending on the original condition of your gums and your home care after an SRP treatment, you may need more SRP treatments to fully restore your oral health.
Scaling and root planing is a common procedure for the treatment of gum disease that is usually covered in part by dental insurance. We can contact your carrier to determine your coverage and personal costs. If you do not have dental insurance, Dental Health accepts many payment methods, including medical financing that can be discussed during your consultation.
Scaling and Root Planing
Gum disease can become painful and dangerous to your health, so if you are experiencing symptoms, please schedule an exam with our team at our office in Brattleboro, VT. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is usually treated with a simple scaling and root planing treatment at our family dental practice. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or to get more information.