How Effective Is Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease?

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Have you been told that gum disease is affecting your oral health and smile? Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a common oral condition that causes an infection in the soft tissues surrounding the teeth and can lead to bone loss in the jaw. The initial stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, can often be addressed with a thorough dental prophylaxis and improved oral care at home. But if the condition progresses to the next stage (periodontitis), gum disease treatment, such as scaling and root planing (SRP) therapy, will likely be needed to protect your oral health.

To treat the periodontitis stage of gum disease, the specialists at Premier Periodontics may recommend scaling and root planing therapy. Our periodontal experts offer this nonsurgical gum disease treatment to patients throughout the Bellevue, Redmond, Olympia, Mercer Island, Kirkland Kent, and Everett, WA communities. Read on to learn about the effectiveness of SRP in arresting the disease process and helping to preserve the health of your smile.

What is scaling and root planing?

When gum disease occurs, the soft tissues surrounding the teeth become infected and pull away from the tooth surfaces. This creates deeper spaces (called periodontal pockets) between the teeth and gums where bacteria, plaque, and tartar accumulate. Scaling and root planing is a treatment performed to clean out these pockets, smooth the root surfaces, and create a healthier environment that can allow the gums to heal. At Premier Periodontics, our talented team uses specialized scaling and root planing instruments to treat periodontitis and provide the best possible outcomes for our patients’ oral health.

When should scaling and root planing be done?

SRP may be recommended when a periodontal evaluation or gum disease screening reveals evidence of gum infection and the early stages of bone loss in the jaw. To diagnose periodontal disease, our team will measure the spaces between the teeth and gums and take X-rays to evaluate the amount of bone surrounding the teeth. Though a thorough periodontal exam is needed in order to diagnose gum disease, there are a number of signs and symptoms that often indicate its presence, including:

  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Red, puffy, or tender gums
  • A receding gumline
  • Teeth that seem to shift or feel loose
  • Pus present between your teeth and gums
  • Periodontal pockets greater than 3mm in depth
  • Radiographic evidence of bone loss around the teeth

How long does scaling and root planing take?

Scaling and root planing is generally completed within 1 – 4 visits, depending on the extent of the condition. We typically treat a quarter of the mouth at each visit, which allows us to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar deposits from beneath the gumline and clean out periodontal pockets as effectively as possible. Every SRP treatment at Premier Periodontics is scheduled according to individual needs to ensure our patients receive the personalized care and attention they deserve.

How is scaling and root planing effectiveness measured?

During scaling and root planing procedures, our team often uses an advanced technology known as perioscopy. This tool allows us to visualize the surfaces of the teeth through magnification and illumination. When perioscopy is utilized, scaling and root planing effectiveness can increase significantly.

After all areas of the mouth have been treated with SRP, our team will schedule a follow-up visit to evaluate treatment results. The goals of this nonsurgical gum disease treatment are to prevent further destruction of the jawbone, heal infected gum tissues (or active infection), and reduce the depths of periodontal pockets. Scaling and root planing is often deemed effective if these goals are met, and periodontal health is maintained. Periodic periodontal maintenance visits may be recommended to help minimize the risk of future flare-ups and keep the disease from progressing.

Nonsurgical gum disease treatment in Bellevue, WA

Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss among adults, making it extremely important to treat this progressive condition as early as possible to prevent further oral damage. If you have signs or symptoms of gum disease, or have been told that you need scaling and root planing therapy, please schedule a visit at one of our Premier Periodontics locations in Bellevue, Redmond, Olympia, Mercer Island, Kirkland Kent, and Everett, WA. Our specialists are experts at providing periodontal care and protecting the smiles of our patients with nonsurgical gum disease treatment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.