Scaling & Root Planning
Daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental check-ups are essential practices to promote good oral health. In cases where gum disease has set in a process known as scaling and root planing may be necessary.
When proper brushing and flossing have not been performed, the bacteria which remains on the teeth can cause the fibers that attach the gum to the tooth to deteriorate causing an increased depth or “pocket” to form around the tooth. Left unchecked the bone can also become involved in this bacterial process and begin to deteriorate around the tooth which may eventually cause tooth loss. Scaling and root planing is a procedure usually performed during the early stages of periodontal disease to help remove plaque and tartar that has built up on the tooth beneath the gum line. Scaling and root planing (aka “deep-cleaning”) may be performed to improve the quality of tissue before surgery, or to prevent gum disease from progressing to a more advanced stage.
A scaler is used to scrape away any plaque or tartar that has built up on the teeth beneath the gums. Ultrasonic instruments may also be utilized. A local anesthetic may be used to help prevent procedural discomfort. Once the scaler has removed the plaque and tartar, the treated area is rough and uneven. Root planing smooths the root of the tooth so that the gums can heal properly.
In order for the scaling and root planing procedures to be successful long term, it is important to return to consistent schedule of effective daily oral hygiene measures. In order to control the progression of periodontal disease a more frequent maintenance schedule may be recommended.
Our practice understands and empathizes with the fears and anxieties patients may have. We strive to offer solutions in a comfortable and relaxing setting, enabling patients to take the important and necessary steps toward achieving their optimal oral health.
Sedation allows patients to feel comfortable about undergoing complex and lengthy procedures. It provides calming and relaxing treatment options for patients who may have heightened fear about dental visits. Sedation can be administered in many forms including orally, intravenously (IV) or via gas.
Oral sedation eases a patient’s anxiety without the need for an IV. This is an excellent option for patients who have difficulty getting numb from lidocaine or similar agents. The patient will take a small pill prior to their appointment. This pill may make the patient drowsy, so a companion will need to escort the patient to and from the appointment.
The patient will arrive at the office feeling calm and relaxed and will be escorted to the treatment room. Once settled into the treatment room, the periodontist and team will perform the exam or procedure. After the treatment is completed, the companion will escort the patient home to rest and sleep for a few hours while the effects of the oral sedation wear off.
Intravenous Conscious Sedation
Intravenous conscious sedation is used for patients with moderate to severe anxiety. Our office uses uses the services of a nurse anesthetist to provide and monitor the sedation. When a patient arrives at the office, medicine will be administered via IV prior to the procedure. IV medicine is very effective because it is delivered directly into the bloodstream. The nurse anesthetist can closely monitor your response to the sedation and very quickly and easily make any necessary adjustments while the doctor can dedicate his attention to the procedure.
Throughout the procedure the patient’s vital signs are monitored to ensure the patient’s safety. The patient remains drowsy feeling during the procedure and is able to respond to the doctor’s requests and instructions. After the procedure, the medicine will naturally wear off.
Although sedation produces a relaxed state, it does not have the same effect as a local anesthetic which is used for most dental procedures. To reduce discomfort of certain procedures, medicine such as lidocaine or a similar numbing agent is injected into the area to be treated to eliminate sensation in the area. The numbness will generally last a few hours after the procedure gradually fading away.
A tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures performed at a dentist’s office. The extraction of a tooth may be recommended for the following reasons:
- Severe Periodontal Disease
- Decayed teeth
- Broken teeth
- Loose teeth
- In preparation for braces
The tooth extraction procedure may require removal of soft or hard tissue. The extraction is performed using a local anesthetic, with or without sedation.
After the extraction, stitches may be necessary; alternatively, a dental implant, bridge or denture will be used to replace one or more teeth.