When you come into our office for periodontal disease, the basis of your problem nearly always stems from plaque build-up. If you catch plaque buildup early, either through your own oral hygiene or with cleanings from your general dentist, you can avoid most periodontal disease. However, if you have gingivitis or a more advanced form of gum disease, you may need a deeper cleaning, referred to as root planing and scaling.
What Is Root Planing and Scaling?
The “deep cleaning” performed by a periodontist is called root planing and scaling. Scaling is the part of the process that includes the use of professional periodontal tools to remove hardened plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. During root planing, our periodontist will smooth areas of your teeth and root surface that have eroded to help remove areas where plaque and bacteria may hide.
How Does the Treatment Work?
When you have periodontal disease, the bacteria in plaque buildup release toxins and acids. These secretions irritate your gums, which become inflamed and pull away from your teeth. The enlarged space between your gums and teeth accumulates plaque, which hardens onto your teeth. Root planing and scaling works to remove this diseased buildup. Our team may administer a local anesthetic for advanced disease or sensitive gums to reduce discomfort. Depending on the severity of the problem, we may be able to address your entire mouth in one visit or may require up to four visits, working on one quadrant of your mouth at a time.
In addition, for enlarged gum spaces, known as pocket formation, particularly those that exceed 5mm, we may elect to use Perioscopy. This advanced technology allows us to use a miniature dental endoscope within your gum pockets for a greatly enhanced view of microscopic details beneath your gumline. Full removal of buildup and disease is essential to eliminating bacteria and resolving infection. Perioscopy is minimally invasive. Local anesthetic will address any associated discomfort.
Am I a Good Candidate?
If you are suffering from periodontal disease, root planing and scaling treatment is typically the first step in regaining your oral health. Our team will speak with you to determine whether this process may reverse your disease, if it is the first step in a multi-step treatment program, and whether Perioscopy will add beneficial results to your procedure. As always, we invite all inquiries so you feel confident and comfortable.
Seeking treatment or surgery for periodontal disease? Our board-certified periodontists take a compassionate approach to periodontal care, and will spend time getting to know you rather than hurrying out of the exam room. Schedule a visit with our team at Periodontics Associates today to review your treatment options with Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson in our Lafayette office, or with Dr. Comeaux at our Opelousas satellite office. Please contact us if you have any questions.