Deep Cleaning Periodontal Therapy


What is a deep cleaning and why is it necessary?

A deep cleaning, or “dental scaling and root planning,” is a technique for removing plaque bacteria that has built up along and under the gum line. This bacteria irritates the gums and causes inflammation. As the gums swell and recede away from the bacteria, the tissue draws away from the tooth, forming pockets for plaque to build inside. Over time, that buildup hardens into tarter or calculus. If left untreated, this bacterial growth will destroy the tooth, surrounding gum tissue and supporting bone. This is the process of gum disease.

We use ultra-sonic scaling devices to gently vibrate away the plaque buildup. When a plaque deposit has formed under the gumline, the ultra-sonic is used below the gumline to remove those deposits. The site is then irrigated and an antibiotic (Arestin) is applied to the gum tissue to kill specific bacteria, allowing the site to heal. We will provide the patient a prescription rinse with chlorhexidine or an all-natural tooth and gum tonic to further reduce the bacteria count in the mouth. The use of a powerbrush and waterpik may be recommended for the best results.

What’s the real risk of gum disease?

The mouth is the gateway to the body and many systems are affected by what passes through the mouth. Gum disease allows harmful bacteria to pass into the blood stream. This is of particular concern for those with a personal or family history of the following;

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cerebrovascular Disease (Strokes)
  • Women who are or may become Pregnant

 harvard-health-shieldHarvard Medical School – Treating gum disease may lessen the burden of heart disease, diabetes, other conditions.

When the bacteria in our mouth enters the bloodstream, it attacks the body in a number of ways and can significantly exacerbates the risks surrounding the listed conditions. The fact that 75% of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease makes gum disease the second most prevalent illness behind the common cold. Fortunately, with our perio-program, we can reverse the disease.

Dental Scaling   Root Planning

We perform dental scaling with ultrasonic instruments to ensure a gentle and deep clean. The hygienist will start the procedure with a thorough examination of your mouth. Next, an ultrasonic scaling device will be used to gently eliminate the plaque bacteria with sonic vibrations. This device removes tartar (calculus), plaque and biofilm from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line. A fine manual instrument may be used next to remove the remainder.

Root planing involves detailed scaling of the root surface to decrease inflammation of the gum tissue. The hygienist scales the root surface to smooth out rough target areas, eliminating plaque and biofilm development.

Our Process

Step 1) Recession pocket depth is measured and recorded and pre-treatment photos are taken to track progress.

Step 2) Gum tissue is numbed because inflamed tissue is normally sensitive. The cleaning is performed in quadrants: upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right.

Step 3) Antibiotic is applied to the gums to further fight the infection in the tissue, reduce swelling and halt recession.

Step 4) Prescription for the proper cleansing rinse will be determined. This will reduce future bacteria growth and help ensure a cleaner mouth.

Step 5) Post treatment photos are taken. Gumline measurements are taken and noted. Notes are forwarded to primary care doctors for patients with diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebrovascular disease (strokes) or who are currently pregnant.

The treatment of periodontal disease significantly reduces the chances of complications and cost of hospitalizations for patients with chronic conditions. It is also strongly recommended for those with a family history of these chronic conditions. We’re committed to fulfilling our role in keeping you healthy and enjoying the best quality of life.

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The Procedure