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Reduce the Symptoms of Gum Disease with Scaling and Root Planing

When left untreated, gum disease can affect both the look and feel of your smile and lead to swollen, bleeding, or sore gums. Because advanced gum disease can also lead to tooth and bone loss, timely and professional periodontal treatment is very important. 

Dr. Milton L. Adams, an experienced periodontist, provides scaling and root planing for patients in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding areas. Also known as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is usually the first step in treating gum disease. Dr. Adams can evaluate your oral health to determine the best course of treatment during a consultation at Berger Dental Group

Illustration of scaling and root planing

Unlike a regular cleaning, a deep cleaning removes bacteria from below the gum line.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing? 

Scaling and root planing is a two-step process designed to remove any harmful bacteria which has accumulated underneath the gum line. Even if you diligently brush and floss at home, this bacteria cannot be addressed without the proper tools. The procedure can not only improve your gum health, but also prevent the serious consequences of gum disease such as recession and tooth loss. 

Do You Need a Deep Cleaning? 

The most common symptoms of gum disease include: 

  • Bleeding gums 
  • Bad breath 
  • Deep "pockets" around your teeth 

During your exam, one of our dentists will measure the depth of your gum pockets and assess the overall health of your smile. If we identify areas of concern, we may recommend scaling and root planing. 

In addition to improving the health and beauty of your smile, scaling and root planing can decrease your risk of more serious issues, such as heart disease.

What to Expect during Treatment 

To ensure your comfort, scaling and root planing is usually completed over two appointments. Before beginning, we will numb the treatment area with local anesthesia. Our office also offers sedation options if you are especially nervous about your visit. During your appointment, Dr. Adams and our highly trained hygienist will: 

  • Use a scaler to remove stubborn plaque and tartar residing along and beneath the gum line 
  • Smooth the tooth roots to prevent further bacteria from accumulating and encourage the gums to reattach to your teeth 
  • Apply an antibiotic to the treatment areas to fight bacteria 

Most scaling and root planing appointments last around one hour. The treatment does not require incisions or stitches, but we generally recommend that you rest for the remainder of the day. You will also need a loved one to drive you home if you received sedation.

Recovery after a Deep Cleaning 

Following scaling and root planing, it is normal to have some pain and sensitivity. These effects should only last a few days. 

A few weeks after your initial appointment, we will see you back at our office to evaluate your progress. In many cases, patients do not need additional periodontal treatment after scaling and root planing. If your treatment does not achieve the desired results, Dr. Adams can also perform advanced periodontal treatments on-site. 

Schedule a Consultation Today 

In addition to improving the health and beauty of your smile, scaling and root planing can decrease your risk of serious issues linked to gum disease including heart disease and diabetes. With timely intervention, the treatment can be very successful and reduce your risk of needing gum surgery or other restorative procedures. To schedule an appointment at Berger Dental Group, call our Columbia office at (803) 787-9793 or contact us online

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