How Often Do You Need Scaling And Root Planing?

How Often Do You Need Scaling And Root Planing?

TeamOral Surgery

Scaling and root planing are periodontal procedures that are designed to treat and prevent gum disease. The word periodontal is the clinical term that refers to the gum tissue that supports your teeth. Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums caused by plaque. 

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing are technically two procedures, but they are typically performed one right after the other. 

  • Scaling. Plaque is a sticky film made of food residue and bacteria that forms on your teeth. When plaque remains on the teeth for long enough without being removed, it hardens into tartar (calculus). Scaling is the process of removing calculus from the teeth and the roots under the gums. 
  • Root planing. Once the calculus has been removed, root planing is the next step. It involves smoothing out the surface of the teeth and roots so that the gum tissue can reattach, eliminating the tiny spaces where plaque bacteria can get under the gums and cause infection. 

The Recommended Schedule for Scaling and Root Planing 

Some patients may only need one round of scaling and root planing, but it is typically done in two separate appointments, one for each half of the mouth. In most cases these procedures will need to be done on a regular schedule for a while until gum disease is under control or eliminated. This is referred to as periodontal maintenance. 

At first it may be recommended that you come in for scaling and root planing every 3 months, or 4 times a year. The best schedule for you depends on the rate at which you develop plaque on your teeth and how quickly it hardens into calculus. Once gum disease is under control you may only need deep cleaning once or twice a year, and regular cleanings in between. 

Barkoff Dental Provides Periodontal Maintenance

You don’t have to go to a separate periodontist for scaling and root planing. Barkoff Dental provides periodontal maintenance and other periodontal procedures as part of our comprehensive dental services. We can establish a schedule that meets your individual needs to keep gum disease at bay and restore your oral health. 

Call 516-921-1133 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Scaling and Root Planing

Does scaling and root planing hurt?

Local anesthesia is used to numb the nerves so that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Afterwards, over the counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers are typically sufficient for managing any residual discomfort. 

Why is the procedure done in two appointments?

When the amount of calculus on the teeth is extensive, it can take some time to remove it. Sometimes it is easier for the patient if the procedure is divided into two separate appointments.