Scaling & Root Planing

Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems among adults in the United States. Oftentimes, people overlook or ignore the symptoms associated with it until their dentist alerts them to the problem. When a patient experiences periodontitis, their risk of losing teeth and bone increases dramatically if left untreated. This is why Dr. Wayne Myles offers scaling and root planing as a safe and effective way to restore gum health. Scaling and root planing are one of our general dentistry treatments. Dr. Myles uses it to treat gum disease. Although it requires more time spent in the dentist’s chair, this process will put patients one step closer to achieving better oral health. To get started, contact us today to schedule an appointment.


What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing are also referred to as “deep cleaning.” In the early stages of gum disease, gingivitis, a thorough cleaning and routine oral hygiene habits practiced at home can reverse the problem, but once it escalates into periodontitis, there is greater opportunity for bone and tooth loss. Fortunately, patients who have periodontitis can have this type of service performed to remove plaque and tartar build-up from around the gum line, as well as have their tooth roots smoothed out to encourage proper reattachment to the gum tissue.

Ultimately, by recommending this process, Dr. Myles can stop the progression of gum disease and work to restore gum health.


Why Do I Need Treatment?

Individuals who require scaling and root planing have symptoms that have progressed beyond red, puffy gums. These symptoms include:

  • Receding gums
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing without pain
  • Loosening and shifting teeth
  • Plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth

Should you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important that you call our office immediately. Dr. Myles can determine if scaling and root planing is a viable method of treatment by reviewing the following:

  • The condition of your gums
  • The amount of plaque and tartar buildup
  • The depth of your gum pockets
  • If your periodontitis is escalating closer to advanced periodontitis

The Scaling and Root Planing Process

The first part of the process is scaling. Dr. Myles will begin by using special tools to remove any hardened plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. This requires that he clean as far down as the pocket’s depth.

The second part is known as root planing. He will smooth out the roots of the teeth in an effort to allow the roots to reattach to the gum tissue. This will also remove any rough areas that can make it easy for bacteria and harmful toxins to enter.


Is Scaling and Root Planing Uncomfortable?

You can expect before he begins to receive local anesthesia to help numb your gums. This will alleviate any pain or discomfort during the scaling and root planing process. Once he is finished, whether he completes the entire process in one visit or only one quadrant, your gums will be numb from the anesthesia. They will also most likely be somewhat tender.

It is natural to feel some discomfort in the days after a deep cleaning; however, as long as you properly brush, floss, and rinse each day, you’ll begin to see that your gums are healing and regaining a healthy look.

Scaling and Root Planing FAQs

How long does it take for my gums to heal after scaling and root planing?

There is no magic time period for the gums to heal after the procedure especially since all patients will react differently. Once Dr. Myles removes the infection and tartar, the gums will begin to reattach to the tooth roots. After about five days, you should see and feel a significant improve with your gums. If you notice that this isn’t the case after two weeks, please call our office and let us know.

When can I brush my teeth after scaling and root planing?

You should continue to brush your teeth normally afterwards. However, it is important to do it gently with a soft bristle toothbrush. Sensitivity, bleeding, and discomfort is normal for a about three to five days after the procedure. Gently brushing with the correct toothbrush is important to not aggravate these symptoms.

Does scaling and root planing cure gum disease?

During the early stages of gum disease, scaling and root planing is a great treatment to reverse the disease. However, if you are in the advanced stages of gum disease, this procedure will simply prevent the disease from progressing further. In these cases, the disease is irreversible. Our goal will be to continue treatment to prevent it doing any more damage.

Will my gums grow back after scaling?

Unfortunately, gum tissue does not simply grow back once it has been destroyed by gum disease. After a scaling treatment, healthy gums will reattach to the teeth roots. If you have significant recessed gums, then you may require oral surgery to restore the gums. Dr. Myles will recommend a gum tissue graft.

Schedule Your Dental Appointment Today

For more information on scaling and root planing or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Myles, call us today at 571-536-7885 or click here to contact us online! Our practice serves Reston and the surrounding areas of Virginia.