What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
If you have developed symptoms of gum (periodontal) disease, a normal cleaning might not be sufficient to restore your oral health. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is usually treated with a thorough prophylaxis (dental cleaning) and improved oral hygiene at home. But if the condition advances to the second stage, periodontitis, then scaling and root planing (SRP) therapy may be recommended. This nonsurgical procedure is performed by our dental hygienists at Cranston Dental Group to treat periodontitis by removing built-up bacteria, plaque, and tartar from below the gumline. Scaling and root planing uses special instruments to smooth the surfaces of your tooth roots within periodontal pockets to create a healthier environment for your gums. If you are in the Cranston or Warwick, RI areas and have symptoms of gum disease, contact our practice today.
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Best Candidates for SRP
Common symptoms of gum disease include chronic bad breath, bleeding, tender or swollen gum tissues, and a receding gumline. At your dental exam, our team will measure the depths of your gum pockets (spaces between your teeth and gums). When these pockets are greater than three millimeters and bone loss is evident on your x-rays, we may recommend scaling and root planing. A periodontal scaling can help to reduce the depths of your gum pockets and help your care for your gums more effectively. When gum disease is diagnosed in the periodontitis stage, it can often be treated with SRP. A surgical approach may be needed, however, in cases of advanced periodontitis.
The Treatment Process
Scaling and root planing is a deep periodontal cleaning generally performed per quadrant (quarter) of the mouth over 1 – 4 visits. To ensure a comfortable procedure, our team may use local anesthesia to numb the treatment areas. When you're ready, our hygienists will use ultrasonic and hand scaling instruments to gently and thoroughly clean plaque and tartar from your gum pockets. Our team will then smooth or plane the tooth roots to reduce the number of regions where bacteria, plaque, and tartar can collect. In some cases, locally delivered antibiotics may be placed within your periodontal pockets immediately following SRP to further control bacterial growth and promote gum health.
Recovering From Gum Disease Treatment
Following your periodontal scaling treatment, you might notice minor gum tenderness and tooth sensitivity. These symptoms can be alleviated with warm salt water rinses and over-the-counter pain relievers. It is very important to adhere to a good oral hygiene regimen at home, with proper flossing and brushing each day, to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Our practitioners may also recommend periodontal maintenance cleanings, which can help you better manage your gum health and minimize the risk for recurring infection. Periodontal maintenance visits replace biannual dental cleanings and are typically scheduled every 3 – 4 months.
Insurance Coverage for SRP
SRP is a very common procedure for treating gum disease and is often covered in part by dental insurance. Before your treatment, our financial team will get in touch with your provider to estimate your coverage and any personal costs. Cranston Dental Group works with most traditional insurance plans and will file claims on your behalf. We also accept several convenient payment options, including financing through CareCredit, to help make any out-of-pocket expenses more affordable for your family.
Protect Your Periodontal Health
Gum disease impacts the health and wellness of your smile and can even place your general health at risk. At Cranston Dental Group, our skilled team of practitioners is pleased to offer nonsurgical scaling and root planing to treat periodontitis and stop gum disease in its tracks. To schedule a periodontal evaluation or learn more about SRP, contact our established practice in Cranston, RI today.