Scaling and Root Planning

What is SRP?
Scaling and Root planing is deep cleaning of gum on patients diagnosed with periodontal disease. Gum disease is caused when your gum pull away from your teeth due to food deposits and bacteria and/or due to tartar (mineral) deposit on your root of your teeth, which leads to bone loss around the teeth, leading to periodontal disease. Scaling and Root planing is the most effective way to treat gum disease.

Your dentist may need to use local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums and the roots of your teeth before starting the treatment. Probing is done to determine the depth of pockets between your teeth and gum and is recorded. Along with the level of tartar build up, recession of gum and bone loss around the teeth structure is recorded and is called Periodontal Charting.

Next the dentist or the dental hygienist will clean the buildup and other deposits between your teeth and gum using scalers. Ultrasonic cleaning tool may also be used to remove hard deposits.

If patient also has very deep pockets, your dentist may deliver antibiotic agents in selected pockets in your gum. This locally placed antibiotic helps to heal gum faster.

SRP may cause harmful bacteria to enter your blood stream. So if you have certain medical conditions like heart disease, weak immune system or have any man-made implants (like a knee or hip joint or an artificial heart valve), or uncontrolled diabetes, you will need to take antibiotic medication before and after scaling and tooth planning. Polishing of your teeth, flossing between teeth and instruction of how to keep your oral health will also be part of the treatment.

What should I do after my treatment?
Your gum and teeth will be numb for few hours if anesthesia was given prior to treatment. To heal the gum and soft tissues around the teeth, dentist may prescribe antibiotic or prescription strength mouthwash. Patients with gum disease will need to visit the dentist more often to maintain the gum and to make sure proper healing occurs after the initial scaling and root planning. Dentist may also recommend adjunctive aids like Proxa brush to clean gaps in between the teeth depending on the patient’s periodontal condition.