Scaling and root planing is the non-surgical removal of deep-seated bacteria from within enlarged gum pockets. Your dentist will measure the size of the pockets to decide whether you need scaling and root planing treatment.
Using special tools, the dentist will remove all plaque and tartar deposits from your teeth and roots. Then they will smooth out the surface of the roots to help the gums reattach to your teeth and prevent a further build-up of bacteria. The dentist may also apply medication directly to the affected gum pockets to aid healing.
The level of discomfort you may feel during the procedure will vary depending on the severity of your condition. If necessary, your dentist may offer you a local anaesthetic to make you more comfortable.
Once any anaesthetic has worn off, you might experience discomfort for a couple of days, as well as sensitive teeth and swollen gums that may bleed. Patients can manage any discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers.
Your dentist may provide you with an antibacterial mouth rinse to use following the procedure. Ensure you follow the instructions on the label, as well as any other aftercare advice your dentist gives you.
Root planing is done in one to four sessions with regular maintenance intervals to treat the condition and will be discussed and decided with your dentist to best stabilise the disease.
At your follow-up appointment, your dentist will measure your gum pockets again and compare to the previous measurement for improvement of the disease. If they are still enlarged, you may need a second round of treatment or other treatment options.
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