Friday, March 22, 2013

What is Root Planing and Why is it Done?

Root planing is a technique dentists use to stop the adverse effects of periodontal disease. It involves a procedure in which the dentist will thoroughly clean below the patient's gum line (known as scaling), then smooth the roots or the tooth (or teeth). The purpose of smoothing the roots is to help facilitate gum reattachment and prevent bacteria from spreading. When the roots are smooth, the gum tissue is more prone to reattach itself and is less vulnerable to the accumulation of bacteria.

This technique is also known as "conventional periodontal therapy" or "non-surgical periodontal therapy." It is effective against fighting mild cases of periodontitis, sometimes only requiring one session to achieve the desired results. However, for moderate to severe periodontal patients, root planing and scaling may be the initial therapy prior to surgery.

If your dentist has suggested a root planing procedure for your dental health, you may be a little nervous but rest assured, the procedure is not as uncomfortable as it sounds. Your dentist will most likely use a local anesthetic to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth. Most patients experience little to no discomfort during the process.

Like many dental and medical procedures, there are a few risks involved. Root planing and scaling can introduce harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Dr. Melcher may prescribe antibiotics for you to take before and after the procedure. Be sure to let us know if you have a condition that makes you vulnerable to infection, such as an immune deficiency or recent surgery. If you have any questions about this procedure, schedule an appointment with Dr. Simon Melcher, D.D.S of Implant & General Dentistry by visiting us online or calling 919-782-0548.

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