Scale and Root Planing for Gum Disease
One of the most common issues identified during dental cleanings is the presence of gum disease. Although no one wants to be told that they have gum disease, identifying this issue is a good thing, because it means you can take steps to correct it and avoid experiencing the negative effects of advanced gum disease, which can include the loss of teeth and deterioration of the jawbone.
Gum disease in its earlier stages can often be halted with a scale and root planing procedure, which is similar to a standard dental cleaning, though slightly more invasive. If gum disease is not able to be corrected or halted with a dental cleaning, additional treatment options may include:
- Medications: Bacterial infections are sometimes treated with antibiotics.
- Prescription Rinses: Antiseptic rinses can be a helpful addition to your daily oral health routine to reduce your risk of gum disease.
- Flap Surgery: If the scaling and root planing procedure does not remove enough of the bacteria, tartar and plaque, flap surgery may be necessary. To access the tooth roots and remove the bacteria, tartar, and plaque, the gums are surgically pulled back, and once the area is cleaned, sutured shut.
- Gum Graft Surgery: Because gums do not naturally regenerate, gum graft surgery may be necessary if your gums have recessed. To restore your natural gum line and reduce your risk of developing gum disease again, grafting material is sutured over the recessed area. Grafting material may be from a donor, synthetic in nature, or taken from the roof of your mouth.
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Deep Cleaning/Scale and Root Planing
One of the reasons we encourage our clients to schedule regular dental cleanings at least every six months is because in addition to giving your teeth a professional cleaning, these visits are also an opportunity for Dr. Preston Hamrick to evaluate your overall oral health, as he looks for any indications of gum disease or any other underlying issue that may require treatment. During your regular dental exam, Dr. Hamrick will measure the depth of your pockets for indications of gum disease. Healthy pockets should be 3mm or less, and any pocket deeper than this indicates gum disease.
The first line of defense in halting the progression of gum disease is a scale and root planing procedure. The scale and root planing procedure begins with administration of a local anesthetic to reduce your sensitivity. Dental sedation will also be available to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, the bacteria, tartar and plaque are removed from the periodontal pockets and the roots of the teeth are smoothed using special instruments that are designed to inhibit further growth of bacteria and give your gums an opportunity to heal. The scale and root planing can be performed in one, two, three, or all four quadrants of your mouth. Depending on the severity of your case and your personal preference, the sale and root planing procedure may be spread out over multiple appointments.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
Once you have halted the progression of gum disease, the most important thing you can do to preserve your oral health and prevent additional issues from developing is to continue brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and avoid use of tobacco. We also encourage our clients to schedule regular dental cleanings at least every six months to ensure the health and sustained brightness of your smile. During your dental cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed around your gumline, after which we will clean and polish your teeth with a gritty toothpaste and power toothbrush. Following this, we will professionally floss your teeth and offer a fluoride treatment.
In addition to giving your teeth a professional cleaning, these visits are also an opportunity for Dr. Preston Hamrick to evaluate your overall oral health, as he looks for any indications of gum disease or any other underlying issue that may require treatment. If you follow these best practices, you will significantly reduce your risk of needing additional scale and root planing procedures in the future and continue to enjoy a bright, white, healthy smile for many years to come.
Cost of Deep Cleaning
For patients with dental insurance, deep cleanings/scale and root planing are usually covered, however every plan is different. Our staff are happy to review your coverage to determine whether your plan does cover dental cleanings and ensure you maximize your benefits and have minimal out of pocket expenses.
If you are a patient at our practice and do not have dental insurance, consider joining our membership club. Because we value your loyalty, we have launched this club to help save you and your family money on treatment and simplify payments for preventative care. We offer three levels of membership: child, adult, and perio membership. Professional dental cleanings, doctor exams, necessary X-rays, and a 5% discount on all other treatment (some exclusions apply) are included in all membership packages.
You can sign up today and start saving money on treatment online or call us at (864) 292-5125.
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Fall in Love with Your Smile Again
At Heritage Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, we are committed to providing 5-star customer service that is relationship based, along with a comprehensive range of treatment options that will provide you with optimal oral health and make you fall in love with your smile again. To schedule an appointment for a deep cleaning/scale and root planing or learn more about our services, contact our Greenville dental team today at (684) 292-5125.