Oral prophylaxis is the basic preventive measure to control the progress of plaque to tartar. If the tartar starts building up under the gingival and along the roots, periodontal pockets are greater than 3 mm, one would need Scaling and Root Planning. These are basic techniques to treat mild forms of gum disease.
Scaling: a procedure that meticulously removes contaminations, plaque, and tartar that is around, below and under the gum line down to the bottom of the pocket.
Root Planing: involves cleaning and smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth so gum tissue can more firmly attach to the roots that are clean and smooth. Root planning is a more complex and skill based process.
What is the procedure?
- 1st appointment: We review your medical and dental history with the detailed examination of your mouth. We may recommend OPG or IOPAs as required.
- 2nd appointment: We review your x rays. At this appointment, we will measure the depth of periodontal pocket with the help of periodontal probe. 1-3 millimetres are healthy, 4 millimetres are considered gingivitis, the beginning of periodontal disease, and 5 millimetres and higher are periodontal disease. An individualized treatment plan is charted out as per the need of your oral cavity. An antibiotic may be prescribed to start 1 day before next appointment as prophylaxis or to control the infection.
- 3rd appointment: Under local anaesthesia, we clean all the supra gingival and sub gingival plaque and tartar adhered to the crown and roots of your teeth. This is followed by polishing of all the surfaces. We may place an antibiotic solution or fibres to kill the infection while the gums are healing after this procedure. We then place you on a 3-4 month cleaning schedule to ensure that we help you keep your mouth clean and healthy from then on. When you brush and floss at home, you are only able to clean as deep as 3 millimetres and we have special instruments to go deeper which is why we want you to come in sooner than every 6 months if you have periodontal disease.