Scaling and Planing Treatment Process
Written by: Dr. Clifford Melnick, DMD
Our patients in Manhattan rely on Dr. Clifford Melnick’s expertise in the fields of periodontics and laser dentistry to ensure the health and aesthetics of their smiles.
Scaling and Root Planing Candidates
Scaling and root planing are used in the treatment of periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Gum disease is the infection of the bones and tissues supporting the teeth. Gum disease attacks the sulcus (the v-shaped shallow crevice between the teeth and the gums), just below the gumline, resulting in the breakdown of the tissues supporting the teeth. As these tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket. These pockets become deeper as the disease progresses.
The build-up of plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, but hormonal changes, certain illnesses, certain medications, smoking, and genetics may also contribute to your risk of developing gum disease. In its earliest stage, gum disease is often painless. To ensure the health of your teeth and gums, it is important to know the symptoms of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums: with gingivitis gums may bleed when touched or when brushing your teeth; with periodontitis gums may bleed without any stimulation whatsoever
- Gums that are bright red or purple in color
- Inflamed or swollen gums
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Teeth may become loose or start to shift
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when biting down
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and affects only the gums. Gingivitis can be treated before causing irreversible damage to the gums and teeth. By following proper oral hygiene recommendations, it is entirely possible to eradicate gum disease in its earliest stage. The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis and it is quite dangerous. During this stage of gum disease, the damage to the bones and tissues supporting the teeth is irreversible. If left untreated, periodontitis may lead to the loss of one or more teeth. Our Manhattan cosmetic dentistry patients with periodontitis are generally good candidates for the scaling and root planing treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning treatment. It is one of the most effective treatments of gum disease. Because scaling and root planing may cause discomfort in some patients, a local anesthetic is administered to numb the treatment areas. During the scaling process, plaque and tartar are removed from the root surfaces below the gumline. Root planing is used to smooth the rough spots left on the roots of the teeth. Removing these rough spots allows the gums a smooth and clean place free of bacteria to reattach to. Antibiotics may be prescribed, and in some cases antibiotic fibers may be placed during the scaling and root planing treatment.
Scaling and Root Planing: Lasers
Lasers used in scaling and planing may improve the effectiveness of the procedure. Patients who undergo laser treatment experience less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort during the scaling and root planing surgery. Our New York laser dentistry practice is dedicated to providing patients with the very best in dental technology and techniques.
Contact Dr. Clifford Melnick Today
To learn more about scaling and root planing, please contact Dr. Clifford Melnick today.