This procedure is done to treat Periodontitis and involves instrumentation of the crown and root surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque and calculus from these surfaces. Often, diseased soft tissue is also removed from the gum pocket during this procedure. A combination of both hand and ultrasonic instrumentation is used and in some cases laser treatment may be used in conjunction with this treatment. Usually, local anesthetic is necessary as this type of cleaning is done below the gum line as opposed to a prophylaxis preventive cleaning which is a more superficial cleaning. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, one to four visits may be necessary to complete the needed scaling and root planing procedures with each visit ranging from 1 to 2 hours depending on the severity of the disease. The mouth is divided into 4 sections called quadrants for billing and scheduling purposes. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, usually 1 or 2 quadrants are treated at a single visit.
As periodontal disease does cause permanent damage to the gum and bone around the teeth, once the Scaling and Root Planing is done, you will need more frequent cleanings called periodontal maintenance cleanings. These periodontal maintenance cleanings are usually every 3 months and adjust to be more or less frequent based on the patients’ needs. These periodontal maintenance visits are usually required for life. How often these periodontal maintenance visits are needed depends largely on how well you the patient can clean your teeth at home and how much damage the periodontal disease caused in the first place. The periodontal maintenance cleaning is a cleaning that is both above the gum like a prophylaxis and below the gum with site specific scaling and root planing as needed. At the site-specific scaling and root planing sites, you may need local anesthetic so make sure you speak up if it is uncomfortable (remember, the periodontal disease has caused permanent damage, so it is not the hygienist's fault if it is uncomfortable). To help reduce discomfort we have purchased equipment that has reduced the chance of sensitivity.
Abbott Family Dentistry, LLC
1601 Abbott Road, Suite 102, Anchorage, AK 99507 US
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