About Scaling and Root Planing
If acid, bacteria, and plaque build up in the gum pockets, gingivitis (the earliest stage of gum disease) may develop. This can lead to bleeding of the gums, chronic bad breath, gum line recession, and more serious problems if the gingivitis isn’t treated. At Southern Cal Smiles, board-certified dentist Dr. Susan Fredericks performs scaling and root planing (SRP) for patients in Woodland Hills and Calabasas who have gingivitis.
As the least invasive treatment for gum disease, SRP effectively scales (removes) the accumulated plaque and tartar from the gum pockets, then planes (smoothes) the surface of the enamel to prevent future buildup. After the SRP treatment, patients will enjoy a healthier, cleaner mouth. If you have swollen gums that bleed easily, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fredericks at Southern Cal Smiles in Woodland Hills, CA to learn more about scaling and root planing or other periodontal treatments.
What to Expect
For the scaling and root planing procedure, the patient will be given local anesthesia for the areas being treated. Sedation may be added to help you remain calm and comfortable during the procedure. To reach all areas of the gum pocket and remove the plaque and tartar that has built up, Dr. Fredericks will use a manual scaling tool or an ultrasonic cleaner. After the gum pocket is cleaned, Dr. Fredericks will minimize the areas where plaque and tartar can become trapped by planing (smoothing) the surface of the tooth. After the procedure, the gums will begin to heal and reattach properly to the tooth root. Some patients may need more than one treatment to get their best results.
After the scaling and root planing treatment, you might experience some inflammation or bleeding of the gums for a few days. To keep the gums and teeth clean after the SRP procedure, you should discuss proper techniques for brushing and flossing with Dr. Fredericks so you can establish a good home care routine. You should also be sure to schedule dental exams at least once a year or as recommended. Dr. Fredericks will usually schedule a follow-up appointment 2 – 4 months after the procedure to check your progress.
Since scaling and root planing is usually a medically necessary treatment for gum disease, dental insurance often covers some or all of the procedure cost. Our office will contact your insurance company to determine your specific coverage and out-of-pocket expenses. Patients can also discuss payment options and financing plans during their consultation.