Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapies
Prophylaxis is the regular cleaning that is done on your teeth during your dental visits. This type of cleaning is typically done to prevent the development of gum disease in the first place. It can also be used for cases of mild gingivitis when you do not have a significant amount of tartar built up under the gumline.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning of your teeth that involves cleaning all surfaces of your teeth both above and below the gumline. While non-surgical, scaling and root planing is generally done under a local anesthetic, which is meant to make you feel more comfortable.
We begin with scaling, or the scraping of the visible surfaces of your teeth, including at and just under the gum line. We effectively scrape away plaque, tartar, bacteria, and other debris, which helps to alleviate the irritation and swelling of your gums. Root planing involves using specialized tools to smooth the surfaces of your tooth roots, removing plaque, bacteria, and other toxins, and making it difficult for new bacteria to adhere to the teeth.
In some cases, a single scaling and root planing treatment are all that is needed. In other cases, however, gum disease persists. If we find at your follow-up that your gums have not responded to the initial treatment, we may recommend you for periodontal maintenance. This is a series of visits, anywhere from 2 months to 6 months apart. Your teeth are examined as we assess the buildup on your teeth, check the condition of your gums and take digital x-rays. After your exam, we clean your teeth. We scrape the surfaces of your teeth, removing all buildup that has accumulated since your previous appointment.
Localized Placement of Medications
Placing an antimicrobial medication under the gums is often recommended following scaling and root planing. This particular treatment is done to kill any bacteria that may still be lingering in the periodontal pockets. While this medication is not meant to be a standalone treatment, we can help to determine if they will be an effective treatment for you.
In some cases, oral antimicrobial medications may be recommended. When combined with certain periodontal treatments, they can help to kill bacteria and work to heal your mouth.
Laser therapy is a fairly recent addition to the options for non-surgical periodontal therapy. Lasers can be used to remove infected tissue, making treatment with scaling and root planing easier and more effective. Lasers can also be used to eliminate bacterial buildup in periodontal pockets.
Non-surgical periodontal therapies are a much less invasive way to restore the health of your gums and the rest of your mouth. For more information, call Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today at Tulsa: (539) 302-3266 Claremore: (918) 343-4300.