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Scaling and Root Planing – Crystal River, FL

Safely and Effectively Heal Your Gums

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States. In addition, it’s estimated that half of all Americans will have this condition at some point in their lives. Without proper periodontal care, gum disease could progress to the point that your teeth loosen or even fall out! Fortunately, Dr. Lisa Schnell offers a treatment to safely and effectively heal your gums – scaling and root planing. Although this treatment requires more time spent in the dental chair, it’s worth it to save your oral health and preserve your natural smile. To get started, contact Signature Dental Care today to schedule an appointment.

woman sitting in dental chair preparing for scaling and root planing in Crystal River

Why Choose Signature Dental Care for Scaling and Root Planing?

  • Dentist with More Than 30 Years of Experience
  • No Wait Times – Ever!
  • Patient Comfort Is Priority #1

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

close up dental instrument measuring gum pocket

Scaling and root planing is also sometimes referred to as a dental deep cleaning. In the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, a regular dental cleaning and proper at-home oral hygiene habits can usually reverse the problem. Once it progresses into periodontitis, though, there is a greater risk for tooth and bone loss. With scaling and root planing, Dr. Schnell can heal patients who have been affected by periodontitis. She can remove plaque and tartar from around the gumline, smooth out the tooth roots to encourage reattachment to the gum tissue, and ultimately halt the progression of gum disease and promote better oral health.

Why Do I Need This Treatment?

close up of dentist using laser for scaling and root planing

Patients who require scaling and root planing have symptoms that go beyond red and tender gums. Some signs of advanced gum disease include:

  • Noticeable plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Bleeding when brushing and flossing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Constant bad taste in the mouth
  • Loosening or shifting teeth

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call our office right away. Dr. Schnell can determine whether you need a dental deep cleaning by evaluating the following:

  • The amount of accumulated plaque and tartar you have
  • The condition of your gums
  • The depth of your gum pockets (spaces between your gums and teeth)
  • If your periodontitis is turning into advanced periodontitis

The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

woman giving thumbs up in dental chair

The first portion of the treatment is scaling. Dr. Schnell will start by using special instruments to clear away any hardened plaque and tartar that have deposited above and below the gumline. This may require cleaning as far down as the pockets’ depth.

Next comes the root planing. The roots of your teeth are smoothed out, which allows the roots to better reattach themselves to the gum tissue. This also makes it more difficult for bacteria to enter these areas in the future.

Is Scaling and Root Planing Uncomfortable?

Although this procedure might sound painful, rest assured that it shouldn’t be. Before the treatment begins, Dr. Schnell will numb your gums with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Whether the whole process is completed in one visit or one quadrant of your mouth at a time, your mouth should be numb for a while after your appointment.

Your gums might be tender for a few days following your scaling and root planing. This is natural. However, it’s still important that you brush, floss, and rinse every day. Doing so will ensure that your gums start healing and looking healthier.

Scaling and Root Planing FAQs

If you’re like most people, you probably didn’t even know that scaling and root planing existed until your dentist told you that you needed to undergo this procedure. While this treatment may sound unpleasant, it is absolutely worth it to ensure your pearly whites have a healthy foundation. Below, we’ve included the answers to some questions that our patients often have about scaling and root planing.

How Long Will It Take for My Gums to Heal After Scaling and Root Planing?

You will likely feel some degree of soreness for several days following your procedure. For the next four to six weeks, you may experience increased sensitivity to heat and coldness (and sometimes sweets as well). This is completely normal, and you should notice a marked improvement in the sensitivity after about two weeks.

To reduce painful sensitivity after scaling and root planing, it may help to use a desensitizing toothpaste and/or mouthwash. We might also prescribe a topical stannous fluoride gel to apply to the teeth.

Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid After Scaling and Root Planing?

Dr. Schnell will advise you on the types of food to stay away from while you’re recovering. Certain foods can hinder the healing process, such as crunchy foods that can brush up against the gums or acidic items that can irritate the tissue. In general, it’s best to stick with foods that are soft in texture and low in acid for a few days.

How Often Will I Need to Undergo Scaling and Root Planing?

It depends on the extent of the damage to your gums. Often, a single scaling and root planing procedure cannot sufficiently eliminate the bacteria causing periodontal disease. About four weeks after your original deep cleaning, Dr. Schnell will evaluate your gums and determine whether further treatment (antibiotic therapy, more scaling and root planing, surgery, etc.) is needed.

To keep your gums as healthy as possible, we highly recommend coming in for a checkup every three months. When it comes to your smile, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Is Scaling and Root Planing Expensive?

A dental deep cleaning will often cost significantly more than a typical teeth cleaning. Keep in mind that even if scaling and root planing seems expensive, it costs much, much less than extracting and replacing teeth, which may be necessary if your gum disease is not treated.

The cost of scaling and root planing will depend on several variables, including the severity of your condition, your level of insurance coverage, and whether you choose to be sedated for the procedure. Many dental insurance providers offer partial coverage (usually around 50%) for scaling and root planing. At Signature Dental Care, we’re in-network with Florida Blue, but we welcome all PPO plans. We can also help you apply for an affordable, low-interest payment plan through CareCredit to make sure you can fit the care your smile needs into your budget.