1430 S. Dixie Hwy Ste 312, Coral Gables, FL 33146   |   Get Directions
University Dental Group in Coral Gables

Coral Gables Gum Disease Treatments

A majority of adults have some level of gum disease. At University Dental Group, we can improve the health of your gums, strengthen your teeth, and keep your bone healthy. Included in your regular dental cleaning, most adults will have scaling and root planing performed.

What is Scaling & Root Planing?

Scaling and Root Planing is a dental cleaning treatment that goes deeper, BELOW the gum line to remove contaminated debris and bacteria, it is often referred to as a Deep Cleaning.

Regular dental cleanings clean the surfaces of your teeth, clearing away plaque and calculus, but for some patients, that contaminated material has extended deeper, positioning itself under the gum line between the connection of your teeth and gums. As this debris works, it causes an infection in your gums, weakening the connection that holds your teeth in place. Scaling and Root Planing is done to remove the soft sticky plaque and hard crusty calculus that is loaded with bacteria, around and BELOW the gum line on root surfaces. This is a method to treat even the beginning signs of gum disease known as gingivitis. Our hygienist can spot the signs both visually and by measuring the pockets that have formed around your teeth, indicating the loss of connection, any pocket measuring greater than 3mm is the cause for treatment.

What is Scaling?

Scaling is the process of meticulously removing the contaminated biofilm, plaque, calculus, microorganisms, and toxins from around the gum line down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket, in order to obtain a healing response. Using the UltraSonic Scaler, one of our dentists, Dr. Morales or Dr. Garcia will blast oxygenated water below your gums to remove the bacteria. They will then take a hand scaling tool to double-check their work and ensure that there is no remaining debris.

What is Root Planing?

Following scaling, the next step is known as root planing. This process involves smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth using a thin instrument, which will then allow the gum tissue to more firmly reattach to roots that are clean and smooth, giving you a stronger and healthier bond. This procedure makes it more difficult for plaque, calculus, and bacteria to accumulate along these root surfaces.

This process can be uncomfortable, and some may prefer to be numbed before the procedure. The cleaning may take one to six visits to complete. Depending on the extent of the disease, you may need one or more quadrants of the mouth to be treated with scaling and root planing.

Why is Root Planing Necessary?

  • To reduce the growth of harmful bacteria
  • To help the pocket wall attach more firmly to the now clean root surface
  • To eliminate further bleeding of the gums
  • To reduce inflammation
  • To reduce discomfort
  • To prevent potential bone loss
  • To prevent gum disease-related tooth loss
  • To reduce any possible systemic disease

Home Care After Root Planing & Scaling

Following your Scaling and Root Planing procedure, you will need to be aware of some healing procedures. We ask that patients:

  • Rinse with warm salt water every few hours (1/2 tsp. salt in 8 oz. water) for the remainder of the day to encourage healing and to soothe discomfort.
  • Don’t bite or chew your lip, cheek, or tongue while they are numb.
  • Avoid eating or chewing for 2 hours after this procedure or until the numbness has worn off.
  • Keep your fingers and tongue away from the areas that have been treated.
  • Take Tylenol or ibuprofen according to directions on the manufacturer label for a couple of days to help with the discomfort.
  • Do NOT take aspirin because it may prolong bleeding.
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco for 72 hours after the procedure to allow for healing.
  • Gently brush and floss your teeth after each meal.

In some cases, one of our dentists at University Dental Group may prescribe a rinse following your Periodontal appointment. How you care for your teeth and gums at home after treatment is critical to reducing the risk of recurrent periodontal disease.

For more information on the dental tools we use, or if you are searching for a specific tool or technique, contact one of our dentists:

  • Richard D. Morales, DMD
  • Rebeca M. Garcia, DMD

at our Coral Gables, FL dental office – 305-661-8240