Deep Cleaning (SCALING AND ROOT PLANING)
Dentist Fairfax, VA
At Sensational Smiles, as part of our standard of care we record a Periodontal Probing Depth History for each patient. A small probe with millimeter increment markings is inserted where the gums lay against the tooth above the bone. 1-3 mm is considered healthy and can be cleaned effectively by you with brushing, flossing, and water picking as part of a healthy oral hygiene regimen. Once the depth is 4mm or more, this deepest area past 3mm is not effectively cleaned by home care. Bacterial infection builds up in the deeper part of what is now called a “pocket”. These bacteria live happily and undisturbed in this infected area, and as a byproduct of its metabolism an acid is produced. This acid creates both inflammation in your gums and breakdown of the bone supporting the teeth as indicated in the images below.
Left untreated this problem snowballs as bone is lost, pockets get deeper, and more bacteria fill these infected pockets. Eventually if enough bone is lost, the teeth will be lost as well. Once bone is lost it cannot be regrown. Our treatment recommendation is Scaling and Root Planing. During treatment these pockets are cleaned of their bacterial infections and the tooth root surface is smoothed to make it less habitable for the bacteria. Once the bacterial infection is removed and healing occurs, your pockets and gum inflammation levels are re-probed to evaluate the improvement in gum health. Following the scaling root planing treatment, we recommend more frequent perio maintenance recall (or perio cleaning) at frequency of 3 months or 4 months depending on the health of your gums. The reasoning behind this is preventing a return build-up of bacterial infection in those pockets and preventing further bone loss. Once periodontal disease is a diagnosed, treatment and maintenance are the only way to prevent progression of the disease.
Contact Sensational Smiles for evaluation and recommended treatments.