Scaling and root planing is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. Scaling and root planing is sometimes performed with adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials, or host modulation, as needed on a case-by-case basis.
This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is when your periodontist removes all the plaque and tartar above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Root planing smooths out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and will require a local anesthetic.
After Care: What to Expect
After a deep cleaning, you may have discomfort for a day or two and perhaps teeth sensitivity for a temporary period. Your gums also may be puffy, feel tender or bleed slightly.
To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, Dr. Bishop may prescribe medication.
Dr. Bishop will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have not improved from the first step of treatment, more treatment may be needed.
Generally after periodontal treatment is done, Dr. Bishop will see you back in 3 months to evaluate your healing and have your first 3 month periodontal maintenance visit or “recall” appointment. Click here for more information!