How a Typical Scaling and Root Planing Appointment Goes
Posted on 4/30/2020 by Hilton Israelson, DDS
For patients who stay on top of regular dental appointments, a cleaning is a straightforward process. Sure, we're not terribly surprised when we encounter a little bit of gum bleeding when we clean and floss your teeth, but if we see signs of periodontal disease, we may recommend a more advanced cleaning procedure called “scaling and root planing”. While scaling is part of a normal dental cleaning, root planing sometimes confuses our patients and does require a little bit of explanation to take the mystery out of this procedure.
Three Frequently Asked Questions about Scaling and Root Planing
It's understandable to be a little bit anxious when we advise a scaling and root planing to you. It's not something you hear about every day, and admittedly, it does sound a little bit complicated. However, this procedure is quite routine and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have about it.
Why do I need this done? Root planing is advised when our patients have more advanced gum disease. When the gum pockets around your teeth deepen, plaque can form underneath the gumline. Root planing allows us to smooth the roots and remove the infection.
How long does it take? Sometimes root planing can be drawn out over multiple appointments to minimize discomfort to our patients. We may work in quadrants to allow us to focus on one specific area, preventing you from becoming restless or feeling rushed during the procedure.
Will it hurt? This is perhaps the most common question we get before starting any procedure on our patients. If we suspect that your root pockets are deeper than average, we may numb your mouth. The worst thing that you'
ll experience during this procedure is the feeling of our tools scraping your teeth. As for pain, though? Nope, not a bit! You may feel a little bit sore after the procedure, but over the counter NSAIDS (such as ibuprofen) can help with that.
We strive to keep our patients calm and pain-free during these procedures. If you have any questions or experience any discomfort whatsoever during a scaling and root planing, do not hesitate to let us know. Our goal is to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. If you are due for a cleaning, please give our office a call today and schedule your dental exam with cleaning and, if necessary, root planing!