Gum Disease Treatments

Gum Disease Treatments

What is scaling and root planning or periodontal treatment? 

Periodontal therapy is more thorough cleaning that goes under the gum line and into the pockets around the teeth.  It is done (sometimes with anesthesia) to clean not only the teeth but also the infected root surfaces.

Why do I need gum treatment and what are the different types? 

For many people a “regular cleaning” or prophy is all that is required to maintain gum health.  For those who have more severe gum disease as shown by pockets between their teeth and gums that are larger than 4 mm in depth, more treatment is indicated.  The goal of these treatments is to decrease the pockets to 3mm or less which is maintainable.  Initial treatment is scaling and root planning, where tartar and plaque bacteria are removed from the tooth and root surfaces.  In many cases, this, followed by excellent brushing and flossing, may be all the treatment that is required to achieve and maintain healthy gums.  In some cases the pockets are still too deep to remain healthy and further treatment in the form of surgery or LASER treatment is required.  The goal of all of these treatments is healthy maintainable gum tissue that supports healthy teeth.

What are the benefits of scaling?  

Scaling is the initial stage of periodontal or gum treatment and its goal is to remove the hard deposits of calculus (tartar) that are adhered to the tooth root.  If the swelling and infection of the gums heal well, sometimes gum surgery can be avoided.

How does scaling work? 

The tartar is removed from the tooth roots with hand instruments and sometimes ultrasonic scalers.  The ultrasonics are thin instruments that vibrate the infected material off the root.  Many times anesthetic is used for your comfort.

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