Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical periodontal procedure. It is a deep cleaning treatment method that removes plaque and tartar beneath a patient’s gum line. A patient can also have their root surfaces planed during this procedure. This allows the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the patient’s teeth.
As a matter of necessity, local anaesthetic may be used, depending on the type of procedure a patient requires. Further considerations may include the use of antibiotics and mouth rinses after the procedure. Scaling and root planing procedures are effective at helping a patient during the early stages of periodontal disease.
Scaling and Root Planning Risks
Scaling and root planning is most effective during the initial stages of periodontal disease. As a result, the greatest risk that a patient can experience is with not undergoing this procedure during the onset of periodontal disease. Apart from missing this vital window of opportunity to correct any periodontal disease, actual treatment risks are limited.
This again is dependent on a patient’s individual factors. Among examples of individual risks that may present are reaction to medication, post-operative bleeding, pain, and bruising. However, it is important to note that these conditions are manageable, and should not prevent patients from receiving the treatment they need.
Scaling and Root Planning Aftercare
Patients may experience numbness in the case of scaling and root planing procedures that require local anesthetic. This sensation may be felt in the form of numbness in a patient’s lips, teeth or tongue.
We also encourage patients who have completed scaling and root planing to avoid consuming alcohol or spicy foods, at least until their gums have healed. Smoking and tobacco products are also discouraged, as tobacco slows healing.
Light brushing and flossing are encouraged, especially when concerning the affected area. Your dentist may also prescribe pain medication to help with any discomfort during the healing process.