After a comprehensive exam and review of your x-rays, your dentist or periodontist may recommend scaling and root planing as part of your initial treatment. The procedure is sometimes referred to as a “deep cleaning”. The purpose of the treatment is to remove bacterial deposits and hardened plaque “tartar” from beneath the gumline. This is usually performed by the dental hygienist but can be performed by the periodontist as well. The cleaning is very thorough and may be done with local anesthesia, and may take more than one appointment.
After the procedure, you will be asked to maintain excellent oral hygiene for the next 4-6 weeks. This time is to allow the gum tissue to heal and attach to the tooth. A successful treatment will result in less inflammation in the gums, shallower pockets, and may reduce bad breath. Good oral hygiene will help achieve the best results and prevent the disease from recurring.
This treatment for more mild to moderate periodontal disease is often enough to prevent the progression of disease. If this is the case, it is recommended to stay on a maintenance program of regular dental cleanings. Your periodontist and dentist will recommend the best maintenance program for you. If there are still signs of disease, further treatment may be necessary.