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Numbing First Means Scaling and Root Planing is Often Painless
Posted on 11/16/2020 by Dr. Michael Allard
If you have gum disease, we might recommend a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing. It may sound unpleasant, but the use of a local anesthetic will help reduce any discomfort you may experience during the procedure.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing is a two-part cleaning procedure that is used when gum disease has progressed beyond the point of only requiring a standard professional dental cleaning. The first part, scaling, entails using a scraping tool to remove any plaque and tartar from the tooth enamel both above and below the gum line. Next, root planing involves using the same tool to smooth the roots of your teeth. This allows your disinfected gums to more easily reattach to the tooth roots. Your gums will begin healing from gum disease immediately after the scaling and root planing procedure.
How Long Does Scaling and Root Planing Take?
It sometimes takes more than one appointment to complete scaling and root planing. The length of the deep cleaning process depends on the severity of your gum disease and tartar buildup. We will also schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure that the procedure was successful and that your gums are healing properly.
Does Scaling and Root Planing Hurt?
We will most likely administer a local anesthetic during scaling and root planing to minimize the amount of discomfort you feel. After the procedure is completed, you may experience some swelling, tenderness, and sensitivity in your gums for a few days. We may prescribe pain medication, antibiotics, or an antimicrobial mouthwash depending on your specific needs. Scaling and root planing is an outpatient procedure and in general, recovery only takes a few days. This procedure is highly effective at treating gum disease, and prevents more serious health consequences that can occur if gum disease is left untreated. If you have gum disease, contact our office today to learn more about scaling and root planing.