Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing is usually the first mode of treatment recommended for most patients with periodontal disease. This initial therapy is a non-surgical procedure to remove plaque and calculus from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth root surfaces. Plaque and calculus contain bacterial toxins that cause inflammation to the gums and bone. A smooth root surface supports tissue reattachment of connecting tissue fibers to the tooth. This type of treatment may be all that is needed, especially when periodontal disease is caught early. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy in our office to sustain oral health.

Scaling and Root Planing

Antibiotic Treatment

Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease and the key to controlling or eliminating it is the effective reduction or elimination of the harmful bacteria. Local delivery of antibiotics to the periodontal pocket and, in some cases, systemic antibiotic treatments may be used as an adjunct to scaling and root planing to help control the harmful effects of and reduce bacteria.

Bite (Occlusal) Adjustment/Guard

Teeth that do not fit together properly or a traumatic occlusion may increase the rate of bone destruction or contribute to other oral health problems. We may recommend a bite (occlusal) adjustment so that your teeth meet properly and function better.

In addition, a custom bite guard or splint- a removable device that fits over upper or lower teeth may be fabricated to protect teeth surfaces and relax tense jaw muscles. This type of appliance helps to prevent bone destruction associated with clenching and/or bruxism (grinding). Some symptoms may include (but are not limited to) headaches, jaw aches, TMJ soreness, loose teeth or crowding of teeth.

Pocket Depth Reduction

When supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, “pockets” form around the teeth. If your infection has spread into the bone that supports your teeth, and is below the level that can be reached by Scaling and Root Planing, then a pocket depth reduction surgery is performed to remove any remaining infection and decrease deeper pocket depths. This will arrest the infection and inflammation which would lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

Pocket reduction surgery is a collective term for a series of several different surgeries (such as gingivectomy, osseous surgery and flap surgery) which are aimed at gaining access to the roots of the teeth. It is a common periodontal procedure which has been proven effective at eliminating bacteria, reducing inflammation, and saving teeth. The goals of pocket reduction surgery are:

  • Reducing oral bacteria/spread to various parts of the body from inside the bloodstream
  • Halting bone loss that leads to loose teeth and tooth loss
  • Facilitate home care to decrease the risk of further periodontal infections

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