How Often Do You Need Scaling And Root Planing

How Often Do You Need Scaling And Root Planing?

Team General Dentistry

Scaling and root planing are two different procedures used to treat and prevent gum disease. They are typically performed one after the other for best results, and may need to be repeated on a regular schedule for a period of time until your gum disease is under control. 

How often do you need scaling and root planing? It depends on your individual needs, but here’s what a typical schedule might look like. 

Average Frequency of Scaling and Root Planing 

For patients with active gum disease, scaling and root planing may be recommended every 3-4 years, with regular periodontal maintenance in between sessions. The frequency is typically based on the rate at which the patient develops plaque and calculus.  Usually having scaling and root planing will help periodontal pockets and bleeding improve.  Some patients will only need it once in their lives and then, once on a good maintenance schedule, will just need to keep up 3-4 times a year cleanings.  Other patients may need it repeated every few years or, in the case of severe periodontal disease, may require surgery to try to help control the periodontal disease.  

What is Scaling? 

Scaling is a deep cleaning of the teeth that involves the use of specialized dental tools to remove calculus (hardened plaque) from the roots of the teeth below the gums. The gum tissue is gently pulled away from the teeth in order to access the roots for cleaning. 

What is Root Planing? 

After the calculus is removed the surface of the tooth root may be rough or uneven, which allows plaque to form between the gums and roots, perpetuating the cycle of gum disease. Root planing is the process of smoothing the roots so that the gum tissue can reattach more firmly. 

How Long Will Periodontal Maintenance Be Needed? 

You may need periodontal maintenance for a few years, depending on the severity of your case and how far it has progressed. Once your gum disease is under control and well managed, you may no longer need scaling and root planing, just regular dental cleanings every 3 to 4 months to keep the gums healthy. 

The Importance of Dental Hygiene

Good dental hygiene habits at home on a daily basis can help reduce your risk of gum disease and accelerate recovery. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will remove plaque from your teeth and maintain normal levels of bacteria inside your mouth. In addition to preventing gum disease, brushing and flossing help protect your teeth from decay. When you start taking better care of your teeth, your periodontal maintenance may be less frequent and you may eventually not need any further deep cleanings. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Scaling and Root Planing?

Is anesthesia needed for scaling and root planing? 

The deep cleaning process is more comfortable for patients if local anesthesia is used. This is because the gums are pulled away from the teeth to clean beneath them, and it can be uncomfortable without some form of anesthetic. 

What are the signs and symptoms of gum disease? 

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums, which causes them to become swollen and irritated. Your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth or bite into something like an apple. In some cases abscesses may form on your gums, raised bumps with white heads. Bad breath is another common symptom. 

Who Provides Scaling and Root Planing? 

Scaling and root planing are typically performed by a periodontist. Periodontists specialize in the support structures for the teeth, primarily the health of the gums. Holzinger Periodontics & Dental Implants provides scaling and root planing, as well as periodontal maintenance plans that can treat and manage gum disease. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.