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Scaling and Root Planing – Rochester, MN

Providing a Deep Cleaning to Improve Gum Health

A dentist in Rochester performing scaling and root planing on a male patient’s lower row of teeth

With millions of Americans suffering from some form of gum disease, many of whom are completely unaware, the symptoms and effects can quickly progress, resulting in an increased risk for both oral and overall health problems. If plaque and tartar are left untreated and allowed to spread deep beneath the gum line, your dentist in Rochester will likely employ scaling and root planing in an attempt to stop the infection and improve gum health. At Gentling Dental Care, our dentists are highly-trained to perform this procedure and will help you better manage your gum health at home with useful tips and helpful techniques. To learn more about how you can take back control of your smile and say goodbye to gum disease, contact our office today.

When is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

Digital image of a bottom row of teeth with gums beginning to recede and create pockets

Scaling and root planing are only necessary once your gum disease has progressed beyond the stage of possible reversal. Gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease, can be easily treated and eliminated with regular dental cleanings and healthy at-home oral habits. However, if left untreated, the infection that attacks your soft tissue can spread beneath the gum line and cause pockets to form, causing your gums to pull away from your teeth. This makes it easy for food and bacteria to become trapped.

To prevent possible bone or tooth loss as well as the infection from entering your bloodstream and traveling to various areas of your body, it will be necessary to undergo gum disease treatment in Rochester, also known as scaling and root planing.

Also known as deep cleaning, this common procedure removes harmful plaque and tartar while encouraging your gums to reattach to the tooth root. As a periodontal patient, you will be required to see us more frequently because of the need to prevent reinfection from occurring.

The Scaling and Root Planing Process

Digital image of a dental tool being used to remove hardened plaque and tartar from the base of a tooth and around the gum line

The process of performing scaling and root planing is done in two parts. First, your dentist will begin by numbing your gums to prevent and discomfort throughout the procedure. Once you are numb, they will begin to remove hardened plaque and tartar from underneath the gum line. No matter the depth of your gum pockets, they will need to clean as far down as possible to remove the infection.

Once the plaque and tartar are gone, the scaling portion will begin with a smoothing of the tooth root and any rough areas. This encourages the roots to reattach to the gum tissue and prevents bacteria or other toxins from entering and causing additional problems.

It is normal to feel a bit of discomfort after the numbness wears off; however, an over-the-counter pain reliever and cold compress can help to curb this feeling.