Affecting millions of people, gum disease is one of the most common oral health conditions. However, thanks to procedures such as scaling and root planing, it can be treated – and even prevented.
What are scaling and root planing? And how often do you need them? The answer lies in your current oral health conditions and your risk factors for gum disease.
What is Scaling and Root Planing?
One thing about gum disease is that it is preventable. In its earliest stage, gingivitis, the disease can be reversed with treatment. And, if it has moved beyond this stage, it can still be treated in order to halt its progression.
Scaling and root planing is a two-part process that is used to treat the impacts of gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing and routine professional dental cleanings all aid in keeping gum disease at bay. Scaling and root planing go the extra mile in resolving the situation.
Scaling refers to the part of the process in which hardened plaque is removed. Having been left to build up over time, the calculus along the gum line begins to extend under the gums. Using special dental tools, this can be removed – giving freedom back to your teeth and gums and restoring oral health.
Root planing is the next step in which the roots under the gums are smoothed out. This allows the gums to rest flush against the teeth. Not only will it help the two to reconnect, but it also aids in keeping out plaque going forward.
This process may need to be repeated again in the future.
Scheduling Scaling and Root Planing
How often do you need scaling and root planing? Should you schedule it every 6 months like a routine cleaning? It is something you only have done once a year?
The frequency at which you require scaling and root planing will vary based on your need, whether it is mild, moderate, or severe. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and gums and come up with a routine plan for treatment.
- Mild. Some patients may find that they only need to undergo the scaling and root planing procedure once in order to wipe away the impacts of gum disease – and keep it from returning down the road. This absolutely must coincide with a strong oral hygiene routine.
- Moderate. Most patients will discover that they need to repeat the procedure at various intervals, based on their personalized treatment plan. This may include getting the procedure done with routine cleanings every 6 months or even more frequently like every 3 months.
- Severe. In instances in which the patient’s case is severe, it may be necessary to visit a gum disease specialist known as a periodontist for treatment.
Whatever your recommended treatment plan, following through with your scheduled scaling and root planing will allow you to stay on top of your oral health.