Scaling & Root Planing Before & After Surgery

Click here to download our Scaling & Root Planing pdf.

Periodontal therapy involves continuous self-maintenance and ongoing treatment. Scaling is performed to remove plaque and tartar deposits and root planing is done to smooth the root surface, allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth (picture available on downloadable form).

What to expect:

Discomfort: Discomfort immediately after treatment is usually associated with slight throbbing or aching and occasionally may be uncomfortable. This discomfort usually subsides in about four hours. Any discomfort due to brushing should get better in one to several days. Your gums may become “itchy” or uncomfortable and your doctor may recommend ibuprofen to allviate discomfort. Swelling or jaw stiffness occur very rarely, however if it does, apply warm, moist towels to the face in the area of the stiffness.

Sensitivity: Sensitivity to temperature changes and/or sweets may temporarily occur. Removing all plaque from the tooth with a tooth brush or Q-Tip, and placing a dab of sensitive toothpaste or fluoride toothpaste on the tooth, should stop sensitivity within a few days. If tooth sensitivity persists, use desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensitive Crest or Aquafresh, and avoid Tartar Control Tooth Paste. If a local anesthetic was used, avoid chewing foods until feeling returns to avoid injury to the tongue or cheeks. If the sensitivity is severe and prolonged, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required. The sensitivity to temperature may be intense the first several days and usually diminishes quickly.

Bleeding: Some slight bleeding may occur during the next several brushings but the bleeding should steadily decrease after two or three days. If you have heavy non-stop bleeding contact the office.

Appearance: Root surfaces may be more exposed as the swelling of the inflamed gum tissue goes away. This may result in more space between the teeth.

Although this treatment is necessary, please understand that this is not a cure. Risks associated with scaling and root planing includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Hot & cold sensitivity
  • Sweet sensitivity
  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Abscess
  • Injection pain
  • Numbness
  • Bleeding
  • Throbbing
  • TMJ
  • Infection

 

Please do not smoke following scaling and root planing procedures. Tobacco smoke is an irritant to healing. Refrain from smoking for 48 hours.

Diet & Eating: If extensive root planing was performed, chewing hard foods, such as meat or raw vegetables may be uncomfortable. Avoid any hard foods such as potato chips, fritos, popcorn, etc. for the next 3-4 days. This should last no longer than a few days. A diet of a softer consistency would be advised until chewing becomes more comfortable. Your first meal should be soft. The worse thing you could have is hot soup. No hot food or beverages for 2 days.

Oral Hygiene: It is recommended that patients who have received this type of treatment return for a 6-week re-evaluation and then cleanings every 3-4 months for the first year.

If after treatment symptoms are severe or persistent, or an abscess (gum boil) should appear, please call the office immediately.

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