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Scaling and Root Planing

This procedure is considered relatively non-invasive and helps shrink periodontal pockets before they become severe. Even in most severe cases of periodontal disease, non-surgical periodontal therapy most often precedes surgical therapy. This is done to improve the overall tissue quality prior to surgery and also may limit  the areas of required surgery.


Your periodontist may first start by numbing the area with local anesthetic. He’ll then use a dental tool called a curette to scrape away plaque, calculus, and stains from the crown and root surfaces of the teeth. A fine metal tip that vibrates at ultrasonic speeds with a stream of water may also be used to remove any plaque and calculus below the gum line. This is called scaling. Using the same tool, your dentist will smooth out the root of your tooth so your gums can reattach properly to the root. This is called root planing. 


Once the area is cleaned, your periodontist will rinse the area with saline solution (sterile salt water). He may also place antibiotics in the pockets to help speed up the healing process. 


If the area is properly taken care of after therapy, patients can expect smaller periodontal pockets and less inflammation in four to six weeks. Routine brushing and flossing can continue to keep the area free of potential gum disease, which can lead to more serious problems and treatments.


Need to schedule an appointment? Call us at 414-259-0660.

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