At Jonathan J. Golab, DDS, PA, a routine professional dental cleaning involves scaling the gum line and teeth to remove tartar and polishing the tooth surface to get rid of stains. This is done to ensure your gums retain their healthy state. However, if you have symptoms of periodontal care, just a simple cleaning or prophylaxis is not enough. In this case, we recommend periodontal maintenance involving procedures called scaling and root planing.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Although regular teeth cleanings are done to prevent gum diseases, scaling and root planing are procedures to treat active gum disease.
When your gums are healthy, they fit tightly around each tooth. However, when the gums are infected by bacteria and tartar, they become swollen and inflamed and may start to recede from your teeth, resulting in deep gum pockets.
When your gum disease progresses to a more advanced stage, indicated by gum pocket depths of 4 mm or more, bleeding gums, and bad breath, Dr. Jonathan Golab may recommend scaling and root planing as necessary treatments.
Scaling and root planing may be completed in more than one sitting and is performed under the effects of local anesthesia to prevent any discomfort. Scaling involves filing away all the calculus and bacteria from your teeth and the exposed surface of their roots. Root planing involves smoothing out all the rough edges of the tooth roots so that it becomes difficult for bacteria and plaque to stick to their surface and under the gumline. This procedure allows the gums to heal and reattach themselves to the tooth more firmly.
What to Expect After Periodontal Maintenance
After scaling and root planing, your teeth may experience some increased sensitivity to heat and cold. That’s because the tooth roots, now free of calculus, are now exposed to the elements. Since tooth roots are not covered by enamel, you might also experience some discomfort. This condition will resolve itself once your gum pockets shrink and your tooth roots are covered again.
We will also recommend a follow-up visit where we will check the condition of your healing gums. In most cases, if you have followed our instructions, gum pockets will have shrunk, and gums will become pink and firm once again. If that’s the case, you may not need any further treatment.
However, if your gum disease and pockets persist, we may suggest surgical procedures to prevent bone loss, including gingival flap surgery and gum graft. In most cases, root planing and scaling will reduce the amount of surgery needed.
After your periodontal treatment, we may suggest additional visits, apart from your routine checkups, to monitor the health of your gums. Most patients are recommended a visit after two to four months. These visits will include careful examination of your gums, routine cleaning, and measurements of your gum pockets.
Many patients are confused between the difference between prophylaxis, which is a preventive procedure, and periodontal maintenance, which treats active disease. They simply know that one procedure costs more than the other.
At Jonathan J. Golab, DDS, PA, Dr. Jonathan Golab will explain to you how severe your gum disease is and why you need periodontal maintenance.
If you have bleeding and painful gums, it may be a sign of gum disease. Contact us at (469) 444-7919, and we will schedule an appointment for you to determine what type of treatment you need.