If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, you’re certainly not alone – about half of American adults over 30 are affected by some form of this pervasive oral health issue. But left untreated, gum disease can wreak serious havoc, potentially leading to tooth loss and increasing your risk for other systemic health problems. When gum disease progresses to more advanced stages like periodontitis, one of the most effective treatments is what’s known as scaling and root planing (SRP) in Chanhassen. This deep cleaning goes beyond basic teeth cleaning or “prophy” to remove built-up tartar and bacterial deposits below the gum line.

Not sure what to expect with SRP or what makes this treatment so vital for managing gum disease? Let’s dig into the details with some insight from Dr. Monil Mehta and the talented team at Dentistry on the Ponds, a top-rated practice offering expert scaling and root planing in Chanhassen.

What is Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

Gum disease is primarily caused by plaque and tartar buildup that isn’t effectively removed through regular brushing and flossing. As this buildup spreads below the gum line over time, it creates deep periodontal pockets that trap bacteria and cause the gums to pull away from the teeth.

“Unfortunately, once gum disease reaches this advanced stage, regular dental cleanings aren’t enough to fully eliminate those hardened deposits and diseased tissue,” explains Dr. Mehta. “That’s where scaling and root planing comes in – it’s one of our most powerful weapons for attacking the root causes of periodontitis.”

During an SRP treatment, the dental professionals at Dentistry on the Ponds use specialized tools to manually scrape away (scale) any plaque, tartar, and toxins present on your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Then, they smooth out (plane) any rough areas on the tooth roots to prevent future buildup and create a clean surface for the gums to reattach.

Why It’s So Important for Treating Gum Disease

While a good professional cleaning always feels great, SRP isn’t quite a walk in the park. The process can cause some minor discomfort since the dental instruments need to access deep underneath the gumline. However, this slightly more invasive procedure is well worth it to stop periodontitis in its tracks.

“By meticulously removing accumulated plaque, calculus, and diseased tissue from the periodontal pockets, we can drastically reduce the bacterial load attacking the gums,” says Dr. Mehta. “This gives the gums their best chance to heal, reattach to the teeth, and prevent the irreversible bone loss that causes tooth loss in advanced periodontitis.”

Studies show that SRP is one of the most effective non-surgical treatment methods for halting disease progression and promoting gum reattachment for a vast majority of periodontitis patients.

What to Expect During SRP

Since SRP involves accessing areas far below the gum line, we can’t treat the entire mouth in a single visit – Dr. Mehta and his team typically divide the mouth into 2-4 sections or “quadrants” to complete the scaling and root planing over multiple appointments.

To increase your comfort, a numbing gel blocks any sensitivity during the treatment. As the gums begin healing, you can expect to feel some soreness or tooth sensitivity for a few days after each appointment. Dr. Mehta recommends sticking to soft foods and avoiding anything too hot, cold, or crunchy until the discomfort passes.

Along with prescribing pain medication, if needed, Dr. Mehta coaches all SRP patients on vital oral hygiene tips to ensure the cleanings are maximally effective. “Excellent homecare is essential to keep those newly scaled areas free of any new plaque buildup,” he emphasizes. “My team provides personalized instruction on proper brushing, flossing, rinsing, and anything else needed to control bacteria levels between visits.”

The Key to Halting Gum Disease Progression

Stubborn periodontitis won’t clear up on its own, so the periodontal scaling and root planing provided by skilled dentists like Dr. Mehta and Dentistry on the Ponds is truly invaluable for managing the condition. While it may not be the most comfortable experience, SRP gives you the deep, meticulous cleaning needed to disrupt disease activity and help restore gum health.

“We understand that SRP isn’t exactly a massage, but our team is committed to maximizing patient comfort through numbing, taking breaks as needed, and empowering our patients with the knowledge to maintain their hard-earned results between visits,” Dr. Mehta says. “Because at the end of the day, we want to save teeth and preserve our patients’ smiles for life!”

Scaling and Root Planing in Chanhassen

If you’re dealing with periodontitis or have any concerns about gum disease, don’t delay – contact the experts at Dentistry on the Ponds in Chanhassen today to get your gum health back on track. In addition to scaling and root planing, we also offer Perio Protect and preventative dentistry. Give us a call today!