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If you have gum disease, scaling and root planing can prevent the infection from spreading and improve your oral health. At Family Smile Dental in New York City, the experienced dental team uses scaling and root planing to protect smiles and prevent extractions. To make an appointment, call the nearest office in the Sheepshead Bay or Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, or book online today.

What is scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing is an outpatient procedure that removes tartar –– calcified plaque –– from the surfaces of your teeth and beneath your gums. Removing the tartar buildup reduces inflammation caused by gum disease, improving your oral health.

Who can benefit from scaling and root planing?

You might benefit from scaling and root planing if you develop symptoms of periodontitis, including:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Bad breath
  • Pus between your teeth or gums
  • Tender or sensitive gums

As the infection worsens, you might also notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss.

What does scaling and root planing involve?

Before recommending scaling and root planing, your provider reviews your dental records, completes an oral exam, and takes a series of digital X-rays. If there’s visible tartar buildup on the surfaces of your teeth or beneath your gums, you qualify for treatment.

Your provider numbs your mouth with a local anesthetic and uses a handheld tool to carefully remove the tartar from your teeth and beneath your gumline. Then they use a water sprayer to rinse the tartar and plaque from between your teeth.

After removing all of the plaque and tartar, your provider smooths your tooth roots. They might also administer an oral antibiotic if there’s inflammation in your gums.

How many visits does scaling and root planing take?

The number of visits that scaling and root planing takes depends on various factors, including the severity of the tartar buildup and your dental health history.

If the buildup is mild or moderate, the team completes scaling and root planing during a single appointment. More extensive buildup might require two appointments spaced a week or two apart.

What’s recovery like after scaling and root planing?

After scaling and root planing, it’s normal to experience some mild swelling and increased tooth sensitivity. During the first few days of recovery, you may need to eat soft foods or take pain relievers or antibiotics. Follow the team’s instructions, take any medication as prescribed, and avoid strenuous activity for at least 48 hours.

Call Family Smile Dental and make an appointment to see if you can benefit from scaling and root planing, or book online today.