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NonSurgical Perio

 Scaling and Root Planing is a special type of treatment that goes deeper  BELOW the gum line to remove contaminated debris, pus, and bacteria.

  This seems to be a procedure that causes so much confusion for patients in trying to understand the difference between "just a cleaning" and Scaling and Root Planing and the need and reason for this procedure.     

     Scaling and Root Planing  is done to remove tartar and hard crusty calculus, that is loaded with bacteria, around and BELOW the gum line. A professional polishing or prophy removes only the soft sticky plaque that is above the gum line. It is a method of treating gum disease when pockets are formed around the teeth have a measurement of greater than 3mm.

Hard crusty calculus

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  1. Scaling
    Scaling is procedure that  meticulously removes contamination  toxins, micro-organisms, plaque, tartar, cementum, dentin that is rough and/or permeated by calculus from around, below and under the gum line down to the bottom of the pocket. This is done to
    remove biofilm, calculus, and toxin down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket in order to obtain a healing response.

Click here for a larger view of this procedure

To see this process in action click here: Scaling

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  2Root Planing
      Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth with thin curettes so gum tissue can more firmly reattach to roots that are clean and smooth to prevent tooth loss and sensitivity problems. The procedure makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces.

Click here for a larger view of root planing


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     Because this procedure goes deeper than a regular cleaning, your mouth may be numbed. The cleaning may take two visits to complete.  Depending on the extent of the disease you may need one or more sections (quadrants) of the mouth to be treated with scaling and root planing.  Treatment may require one or more visits.

     This procedure is done:


With our ultrasonic instrument that both scales and medicates your gum tissue.


To control the growth of harmful bacteria. (Bacteria ABOVE the gum line is less aggressive bacteria whereas the bacteria BELOW the gum are MORE DESTRUCTIVE AND DANGEROUS!


Helps gums or pocket wall  reattach firmly to the the spotlessly clean root surface to help prevent tooth loss.


Prevent further bleeding of the gums.


Reduces gum swelling


Reduces discomfort.


Decrease tooth sensitivity due to gum recession.


Prevent bone loss.


Prevent tooth loss due to gum disease.

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Regular gum tissure exams are important to maintain their health

Perio Maintenance Check

    This appointment is necessary to check and make sure your gums have healed and to see how the periodontal pockets have decreased.

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Home Care After Root Planing and Scaling

  1. Rinse with warm salt water every few hours (1/2 tsp. salt in 8oz water) every hour for the remainder of the day to encourage healing and sooth discomfort.

  2. Be careful not to bite or chew your lip, cheek or tongue while they are numb.  Avoid chewing for 2 hours after this procedure or until numbness has worn off.

  3. Keep your fingers and tongue away from the areas that have been treated.

  4. Drink 8 glassed of water or fruit juice a day.

  5. Take pain medication according to directions on label for a couple of days to help with the discomfort, do NOT take Aspirin.

  6. Do not drink hot liquids or eat hot spicy food after this procedure.

  7. Rinse your mouth with BreathRX or Periogard to reduce oral bacteria.

  8. Eat a soft healthy diet like yogurt, soft cooked eggs, or soups.

  9. Do not  smoke or chew tobacco for 72 hours after the procedure to allow for healing.

  10. Gently brush and floss your teeth after each meal. 

  11.   Use your Chlorhexidine and fluoride as instructed to keep the area clean and free of the bacteria that causes plaque and calculus build-up during the healing period.

  12. Since you have periodontal disease it is advised that you disinfect or change your toothbrush head between brushing to prevent self infection from periodontal germs that remain on your toothbrush for 4 hours or more after use.

  13. It is must be remembered that a side effect of aspirin is it can increase bleeding by inhibiting blood clotting making it unsuitable following root planing and scaling.

  14. If a lymph gland swells after having removing so much infection through Root Planing and Scaling, Penicillin will be provided for after procedure care as medical history allows.

Your care of your teeth and gums after treatment is critical to reduce the risk of recurring periodontal disease.

     At this time due to Dr. Peterson's accident and the Pan handle's lack of available hygienist our patients will see  a periodontal for Scaling and Root Planing of Stage 3 or for Severe Periodontal Disease. 

February 27, 2007

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It may be concluded that subgingival scaling and root planing followed by a single application of a 3% potassium oxalategel resulted in a significantly higher reduction of dentinal hypersensitivity at 14 and 21 days, when compared to the placebo.

Effect of a 3% Potassium Oxalate Topical Application on Dentinal Hypersensitivity After Subgingival Scaling and Root Planing
Flávio L. Pillon, Ingrid G. Romani, and Édina R. Schmidt
J Periodontol 2004;75:1461-1464)

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