At OMD, it is always our goal to treat patients in the most cost effective and least invasive way possible. While sometimes more extensive procedures are necessary to meet oral and overall health goals, non-surgical periodontal treatments are often very effective in restoring and maintaining the health of the teeth, mouth and gums.
Gum disease is a serious problem that is caused when bacteria and plaque have time to build up along and under the gum line. Symptoms of early or later stage gum disease might include red, swollen or bleeding gums, constant bad breath, a receding gum line or discomfort while biting or chewing. If allowed to persist, gum disease can cause tooth loss, and there is even evidence that suggests a link exists between gum disease and health diagnoses including heart disease, diabetes and oral cancer.
Scaling and Root Planing
An initial treatment plan for periodontal disease might include scaling and root planing. This non-surgical procedure removes plaque, tartar and calculus, often effectively addressing gum inflammation and disease.
Scaling addresses problems right at and below the gum line. The Oso Marguerite Dental Team in Mission Viejo will use a special tool called an ultrasonic scaling device to break apart and remove plaque and bacteria with sonic vibrations. Then, hand precision and expertise will guide your dentist as any additional plaque and bacteria are removed using a manual device.
Root planing is a procedure that smoothes out rough spots and ridges along the roots of the teeth, helping to eliminate areas where bacteria is often trapped and held. This procedure is typically completed with local anesthetics to keep the patient comfortable. Your dentist will use small hand tools known as curettes to carefully and precisely complete the root planing procedure with precision.
What to Expect
Scaling and planing sometimes only requires one visit with the Oso Marguerite dental team, but when the whole mouth is in need of care, typically ¼ to ½ of the mouth is recommended per treatment in order to maximize comfort and give your dentist adequate time to ensure the gums are treated with great care and precision.
Depending on any health conditions and the level of gum inflammation present, you may be given an oral antibiotic to take before and after the procedure, or one might be administered directly below the gum line.
Most patients report little to no discomfort following the procedure, though there can be some sensitivity to extreme hot or cold. Using a desensitizing paste often helps to alleviate this concern. Your dentist may also provide recommendations for better oral health including flossing and brushing, avoiding nicotine products and eating a well rounded diet.
Following root scaling and planing, many patients notice near immediate results. The gums appear pinker and firmer, pockets often become smaller and there is less bleeding and inflammation. This makes the root scaling and planing procedure an excellent preventative health measure that also often results in a more beautiful, vibrant smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does periodontal disease contribute to other health problems?
Yes, periodontal disease left untreated can contribute to many other health problems. These include but are not limited to heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. If you are pregnant and leave periodontal disease untreated, it can also contribute to preterm birth and low birth weight.
What should I expect during my non-surgical gum therapy appointment?
Most patients will undergo scaling and root planing in our office. A small probe will be used to remove tartar build-up and smooth the roots of your teeth. This will help to eliminate and prevent bacteria build-up. During the procedure, Oso Marguerite Dental will use a local anesthetic to help keep you comfortable.
What special instructions will I need to follow after my non-surgical gum therapy appointment?
After your appointment, it is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity for a couple of days. Using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, avoiding very hard or sticky foods and taking an over the counter pain reliever such as Motrin often helps. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is also important to take it as directed to prevent infection.
How can I find out if I am a good candidate for non-surgical gum therapy?
If your gums are inflamed, red or often bleed after brushing and flossing, you may be a good candidate for non-surgical gum therapy. We recommend calling Oso Marguerite Dental and speaking with our front office staff to schedule a consultation and evaluation.