Treat Gum Disease with Scaling and Root Planing
Gum disease is a serious oral health concern that can lead to a host of undesirable symptoms, such as swollen, bleeding, and tender gums. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. To combat the damaging effects of gum disease, Whiteman Dental Associates offers patients in Brookline, MA, and throughout Boston periodontal treatments, such as scaling and root planing.
The non-surgical treatment can typically be completed during one or two visits under the skilled hands of Dr. Daniel Whiteman or a member of our dental team. Dr. Whiteman has more than 25 years of professional experience. Once treatment is completed and proper oral hygiene habits are followed, most patients can remain free of gum disease for years to come.
Scaling and Root Planing
The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of non-surgical treatments like scaling and root planing as procedures that can prevent the need for more invasive surgical alternatives.
Scaling and root planing can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of gum disease in most individuals. Untreated periodontitis eventually leads to irreversible dental problems like gum recession, the exposure of tooth roots, dental decay, and tooth loss. Non-surgical scaling and root planing can:
- Reduce bad breath (halitosis)
- Prevent tooth loss
- Eliminate pain
- Lower a patient’s risk of developing cavities
- Prevent the need for invasive and costly surgeries
- Improve the appearance of the gums
The appearance of our smile depends, in part, on the health of our gums. Swollen gums can leave teeth appearing smaller while gum tissue recession can expose tooth roots. By undergoing scaling and root planing at our Brookline dental practice, patients can benefit from a more attractive smile following treatment.
Who Is a Candidate for Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment?
Adults who exhibit symptoms of mild to moderate gum disease are ideal candidates for scaling and root planing. Often, these patients experience:
- Bleeding gums
- Oral discomfort
- Tooth loss
- Bad breath
- Deep gum pockets
During your dental cleaning and exam at our office, Dr. Whiteman will carefully examine your gums for signs of gum disease. Risk factors for periodontitis include:
- Advanced age
- Poor diet
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Tobacco use
Patients who have early stages of gum disease may be prescribed an FDA-approved mouthwash that inhibits bacteria's ability to stick to your teeth. Some patients may be candidates for laser therapy that treats inflamed tissue and removes deposits from below the gum line.
A Closer Look at the Procedure
One session of scaling and root planing typically requires less than an hour to perform. Some patients may need two sessions or more to enjoy the full benefits of this treatment.
The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of non-surgical scaling and root planing over more invasive surgical alternatives.
Before your periodontal treatment begins, local anesthesia will be administered to your gums. If you suffer from dental phobia or have trouble sitting still, our office offers various sedation options to help patients feel comfortable during treatment. The procedure consists of two steps:
- Scaling involves the use of a special tool that removes plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line.
- Root planing then smooths out the surfaces of the teeth root so bacterial infections cannot return. Antimicrobial medications are typically administered to further heal and protect the treatment area.
Side effects from this treatment are rare, but some patients may feel that their gums are tender following treatment.