About Scaling and Root Planing
If you have developed symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, a normal cleaning might not be sufficient enough. The first stage of periodontal disease, known as gingivitis, is typically addressed with a general dental cleaning (prophylaxis) and better oral hygiene techniques at home. But if gingivitis has progressed to the next stage of periodontitis, our State College, PA general dentists may recommend treating your gum disease with scaling and root planing (SRP). As a nonsurgical gum disease treatment performed by our talented hygiene team, SRP removes plaque and tartar buildup from below the gumline where bacteria live, thrive, and cause damage to your oral health. For more information on how scaling and root planing therapy might help manage your gum disease and protect your smile from harm, talk to our team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County today.
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Is SRP Right for You?
During your dental exam, our team will assess the depths of your periodontal pockets and check your dental x-rays for signs of bone loss. If your pockets are more than three millimeters and bone loss is evident on your x-rays, then scaling and root planing therapy may be recommended. SRP can help to decrease the depths of the gum pockets, minimizing the area where plaque, tartar (hard plaque), and bacteria accumulate. A number of signs and symptoms may point to the presence of periodontitis and the need for SRP treatment, including gums that bleed, puffy or tender gums, a receding gumline, and bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. When periodontitis is diagnosed and treated early on, it can often be addressed with nonsurgical SRP. Gum disease that reaches the later stage, known as advanced periodontitis, may require a surgical approach to treatment.
What To Expect During Your Care
SRP is a deep periodontal cleaning that may be performed in our office under local anesthesia. In the event you feel nervous or anxious when visiting the dentist, we can complement your treatment with a sedation dentistry service. In most cases, SRP is completed per quadrant (or quarter) of the mouth at a time, often over the course of 1 – 4 office visits. Once the treatment area has been numbed, our dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar deposits from the root surfaces below the gumline using ultrasonic scaling technology and special fine scaling techniques. The tooth roots will then be planed (smoothed) to remove residual deposits and irritants and create a healthy surface. As your gums heal and reattach to the tooth surface, the periodontal pockets should begin to decrease in depth. In some cases, we may place locally delivered antibiotics down into these pockets to help minimize bacterial growth as your gums heal.
Recovery Following SRP
After your SRP therapy, our hygienists will demonstrate the best methods to use when brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth and gums at home. You may experience minor tooth sensitivity and gum tenderness for a day or so following your treatment, which can be managed with nonprescription pain medication and warm salt water rinses. Keeping up with maintenance care following gum disease treatment is critical for arresting the disease process and preventing further harm to your gum and bone tissues. Our team can help you establish a periodontal maintenance program, which generally consists of thorough cleanings and evaluation of your periodontal health on a 3 – 4-month basis. These visits will take the place of twice-yearly general cleanings, as regular prophylaxis is not enough to maintain oral health after gum disease.
Insurance Coverage for SRP
SRP is a common procedure for treating gum disease that is generally covered in part by dental insurance. Before starting your treatment, our billing specialists will review your individual plan and determine if there might be any out-of-pocket portion. To help make your visits even more affordable, we can help you apply for low-interest financing and talk with you about the payment solutions available at Advanced Dentistry.
Reestablish Periodontal Health
Periodontal disease may lead to tooth loss, other oral complications, and even place your general health at risk when left untreated. If you are noticing the signs and symptoms of gum disease, our State College, PA team is here to help. We are pleased to offer experienced, skilled scaling and root planing services in a nonsurgical approach to halting this common yet serious oral condition. To learn more about your options for care, please schedule a visit with our dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County.