Scaling and root planing are painless procedures because we use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area before beginning. You may experience some slight tenderness after your treatment that’s manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Gum Disease Therapy in Fairfax
Scaling & Root Planing
For advanced periodontal disease, you’ll need a deep cleaning process to remove buildup and promote healing.
Oakton Family Dentistry is your go-to provider for gum disease therapy in Fairfax. Our compassionate providers can help diagnose, prevent, and treat gum disease in all its forms.
Early stages of gum disease are manageable and potentially reversible with timely dental cleanings and regular at-home care. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to gum recession, bone loss and eventually, tooth loss. If you’re experiencing symptoms like bleeding when you floss or swollen gums, make an appointment today.
What to Expect
Scaling & Root Planing for Gum Disease
Advanced gum disease requires deep cleaning techniques to remove bacteria and buildup above and below the gum line, in gum pockets and in areas of bone loss.
Scaling and root planing are techniques we use that provide deep cleanings that go beyond a routine dental cleaning.
Everyone has gum pockets. Gum Pockets are the space between the gum and the tooth structure. 1-3mm pockets are considered healthy while 4-10mm is considered mild or advanced periodontitis. At each visit, your hygienist will monitor the depth of each pocket and irrigate with antiseptic medication, if inflammation or infection is present.
We use a special tool called a “scaler” that scrapes away plaque buildup and active infection. We typically use a local anesthetic to manage any discomfort.
Root planning is more of a rubbing motion, used to smooth rough spots on the roots of your teeth to make it less habitable for bacteria. Root planing helps close the gum pockets to prevent infection and promote healing. We may also apply antibiotic medication. This allows your gums to heal and tighten up reducing the debt of your gum pocket.
Your Next Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings
Once you have been diagnosed with Periodontal Disease and have completed the SRP Deep cleaning, a regular cleaning is no longer appropriate. This cleaning is recommended every 3 to 4 months in order to maintain gum health and eradicate the infectious bacterial growth that occurs with periodontal disease.
Standard cleanings will not reach the areas of bone loss of the deep gum pockets where the disease is found. Periodontal visits will be similar to SRP but not as lengthy of a procedure or as uncomfortable
If good dental health is maintained in office and home, the length of time between cleanings can change to 6 months, but will always be a periodontal cleaning.
Meet Oakton Family Dentistry
Our team is dedicated to superior levels of quality, care, and service across all aspects of dentistry.
We combine expert care with maximum comfort. No matter if you’re visiting us for a routine exam or oral surgery, we’ll provide dependable knowledge and an elevated dentistry experience. Your teeth deserve the best, and with tailored treatments, that’s what we provide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once your mouth heals, you’ll experience less sensitivity in your gums, and they will slowly return to normal for most patients.
Scaling and root planing is recommended for patients who have gum disease or who are at risk. During your routine dental check-up, your dentist may recommend scheduling a deep cleaning if necessary.
The entire process can take 1 to 2 hours. In some cases, to keep your appointment shorter, we may clean part of the mouth during one appointment and have you return to complete the other.
After your treatment, we’ll advise you to avoid acidic or crunchy foods to avoid irritating your gums.
Once you have been diagnosed with Periodontal Disease and have completed the SRP Deep cleaning, a regular cleaning is no longer appropriate.
Standard cleanings will not reach the areas of the deep gum pockets where the disease is found.
Periodontal visits will be similar to SRP but not as lengthy of a procedure or as uncomfortable
Research has proven the bacteria that causes periodontal disease re-establishes within 3 months after treatment, which is why we recommend 3 to no more than 4 months for maintenance visits.
This type of cleaning has different guidelines and benefits with insurance plans. Many plans allow for 3-4 visits a year but sometimes will require a co-pay. Please ask our Front Desk about your coverage!
Unfortunately, periodontal disease cannot be cured, only managed. This is why a “standard” cleaning is no longer appropriate as the infection will remain below the gum line and need to be professionally cleaned every 3-4 months.
Home care products are only designed to cleaning up to 3mm of space below the gum and patients receiving these deeper cleanings have areas 4-10mm below the gum that homecare cannot reach. Once the infection eats away at the bone, it can never grow back. This may limit restorative options in the future as healthy bone structure is crucial for successful procedures like implants.