About Scaling and Root Planing
If you have developed symptoms of gum (periodontal) disease, a normal cleaning might not be sufficient enough. The earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, is usually addressed with a good dental cleaning and better home care techniques. But if gingivitis progresses to the stage of periodontitis, treatment with scaling and root planing (SRP) may be necessary. SRP is a noninvasive procedure performed at our Avon, CT dental practice help eliminate plaque and tartar deposits from below the gumline, which harbor disease-causing bacteria and irritate the gums. Performed with specially designed instruments, an SRP treatment at Avon Dental Group removes plaque and tartar from within periodontal pockets and then smooths the surface of your roots to avoid further buildup. In some cases, Arestin (locally delivered antibiotics) may be used in conjunction with SRP to help improve gum health and minimize bacterial growth beneath the gumline. Find out more about SRP at Avon Dental Group by reserving your periodontal screening appointment with our expert team.
Best Candidates for SRP
During your dental examination, our dentists or dental hygienists will check the depth of your gum pockets (spaces between the gums and teeth). If the pockets measure more than three millimeters and there is evidence of bone loss on your x-rays, then a scaling and root planing treatment could be recommended. SRP can help to reduce the depths of the gum pockets to minimize the area beneath the gums where plaque, tartar, and bacteria can accumulate. You may be a candidate for gum disease treatment with scaling and root planing if you have signs and symptoms like bleeding, swollen, or inflamed gums, bad breath or taste, or gum recession. A periodontal screening with our team can determine if SRP is ideal to treat your periodontitis or if gum surgery or other approach is better suited to your needs.
The SRP Treatment Process
Scaling and root planing is a deep periodontal cleaning that is performed by our well-trained dental hygienists. While SRP is usually performed under local anesthesia, we might also suggest one of our sedation techniques if you feel nervous when receiving dental care. Once you are comfortable, our hygienists will remove plaque and tartar from the root surfaces beneath the gums using an ultrasonic technique and specially designed scaling instruments. We will then plane or smooth the tooth-root surfaces to decrease the number of areas where plaque and tartar can accumulate. At the end of the procedure, our hygienists may place Arestin, which is a powder form of minocycline (antibiotic), down into the base of periodontal pockets. Arestin helps eliminate bacterial growth and promote improved periodontal health. The goal of SRP and Arestin treatment is to create a disease-free environment in which the gums can heal against the teeth, reducing periodontal pocket depths and the spaces in which bacteria can hide.
After Scaling and Root Planing
In many cases, SRP will be completed per quadrant (or quarter) of the mouth over a series of 1 – 4 visits. After your SRP therapy, you might experience minor gum tenderness and tooth sensitivity, which can usually be managed with nonprescription pain analgesics. It is highly important to maintain a good oral care regimen at home, including proper brushing and flossing, to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Our dentists will also likely recommend a periodontal maintenance program for you, which includes thorough cleanings every 3 – 4 months and helps prevent active areas of gum disease from occurring. Periodontal maintenance visits replace bi-annual prophylaxis (cleaning) and include dental exams and x-rays as needed.
Is It Covered by Insurance?
Scaling and root planing is a very common procedure for treating gum disease that is commonly covered in part by dental insurance. Our team will get in touch with your provider to learn the details of your policy and determine any potential personal costs. Avon Dental Group accepts several payment methods, including no-cost flexible financing plans, that can be reviewed during your treatment consultation.
Reestablish Periodontal Health
The periodontitis stage of gum disease can lead to bone loss, tooth loss, and a host of other health complications. At Avon Dental Group, we routinely screen patients for gum disease and offer nonsurgical scaling and root planing procedures to help prevent its harmful effects. Please do not let the symptoms of gum disease go unaddressed. To get the care you need from a trusted dental team in Avon, CT, contact our friendly practice and reserve your gum disease screening right away.