Scaling and root planing can treat and typically prevent the spread of gum disease in its earliest stages. Also known as a deep cleaning, this non-surgical treatment can effectively eradicate bacteria and prevent further issues from occurring. Dr. J. Eric Herrington uses ultrasonic instruments at our Meridian, MS, practice to remove bacteria and plaque in a more precise and comfortable manner compared to traditional tools. Dr. Herrington is the only board-certified periodontist in the Meridian area, as well as a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, so you can rest assured you are in the most highly trained hands.
About Scaling and Root Planing
Similar to a routine dental cleaning, scaling and root planing involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth. The primary difference, however, is that scaling and root planing extends deeper into the gums to flush out the bacteria and hardened plaque that cannot be reached with a toothbrush and floss. In addition to removing infection-causing bacteria, this treatment also smooths the surfaces of the roots to discourage further plaque from reattaching.
Dr. Herrington uses ultrasonic instruments to remove bacteria and plaque in a more precise and comfortable manner compared to traditional tools.
Gum disease is typically not painful, particularly in its early stages which is why it is so important to attend regular check-ups. If Dr. Herrington finds signs of the condition, we can determine whether a deep cleaning will be sufficient or whether you require another treatment. More advanced gum disease can be treated with LANAP, laser technology that eliminates damaged tissue while leaving healthy areas unaffected.
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
In addition to the wide array of oral health benefits, scaling and root planing can also improve your overall health. Over the past several years, research has confirmed there is an undeniable link between oral health and whole-body well-being. If left untreated, periodontal disease can ultimately lead to serious health concerns such as heart disease, dementia, and stroke. It is also more challenging for diabetic patients to control their blood sugar when gum disease is present. By diagnosing and treating gum disease early, you can minimize your chance of developing health issues in the future.
The Treatment Process
To begin the treatment process, Dr. Herrington will administer local anesthesia to numb your gums and teeth. Once you are comfortable, your teeth will be cleaned and the roots will be smoothed with special dental scalers. Using an advanced ultrasonic instrument, Dr. Herrington will remove bacteria and infected gum tissue. Following the procedure, patients typically experience little to no pain. However, an increase in dental sensitivity is a common side effect, which should diminish over time. Any discomfort can usually be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers.
After a few weeks, Dr. Herrington will perform a re-assessment to determine your progress. Once the gums are healthy, you will be placed on a cleaning schedule to maintain your oral health. Patients who are prone to periodontal issues often necessitate more frequent cleanings to keep bacteria levels manageable. Dr. Herrington will help you determine a cleaning schedule that will meet your specific needs.
Protect Your Oral Health
If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, such as bleeding gums, loose teeth, or bad breath, scaling and root planing may be an option for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Herrington, call our office at (601) 482-6938 or contact us online.