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Has your dentist mentioned a treatment called “scaling and root planing”? Are you unsure about this procedure and what it entails? Dr. Trevor Williams of Brandon, FL understands that treatment recommendations may be complicated. He can help patients learn more about these solutions and why they are necessary to bring their smile back to health. Patients who visit Williams Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can learn more about this and other periodontal treatments.

Understanding periodontal disease

When patients are told that scaling and root planing is recommended, this is often in reference to a diagnosis of later stage periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, sometimes called gum disease, is an infection that can wreak havoc on a beautiful, healthy smile. Often due to poor oral health habits, periodontal disease can develop and is currently uncurable. The infection can also spread through the bloodstream and increase a patient’s chances of developing medical problems such as strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. This “oral systemic connection” is why it is so important to diagnose and treat this condition in the early stages for the best possible outcome.

What is scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing is essentially a very deep, thorough cleaning of the teeth. This is a deeper cleaning than the routine cleanings obtained at the dental office during regular visits. This procedure may also include the application of antibiotics directly in the mouth to control the infection. Other times, the dentist may recommend oral antibiotics, which can fight the infection from the inside out. Regardless, treatment is needed to keep patients from losing gum tissue, jawbone, and natural teeth.

Who is a candidate?

Any patient who has later-stage periodontal disease, or “periodontitis,” may be a good candidate for scaling and root planing procedures. The dentist will advise patients if they can benefit from this or other treatments for periodontal disease.

Learn more about scaling and root planing procedures

Brandon, FL area patients can call (813) 560-0447 to request a consultation visit with Dr. Trevor Williams and his team to discuss periodontal disease treatment such as this. His office is located in Suite #211 at 510 Vonderburg Drive and is accepting new patients in the community and surrounding cities.


What are scaling and root planing?

A thorough cleaning of the teeth, which is generally deeper than the routine cleanings given regularly at the dental office. It may include the application of antibiotics in the mouth to control the infection.

Who is a good candidate for this procedure?

Anyone with advanced-stage periodontal disease may be a good candidate for this procedure.

What does the procedure involve?

A local anesthetic is used to numb the mouth. The surface tartar is removed, and the gum pockets are cleansed with a vibrating ultrasonic scaler and water-sparing device. Then, the dentist uses manual scalers and scrapers to expose the tooth roots lying within the gum pockets and removes tartar on the root surfaces. Root planing discourages the rebuilding of tartar and helps the reattachment of gum tissue to the roots. An antibiotic gel may be used on the gum pockets to prevent infection.

Do scaling and root planing cause pain?

The procedure doesn’t cause pain, but some patients experience discomfort. If so, a numbing agent can be administered with injections for the treated area. You may feel some pain and tenderness post-procedure, but this can be managed with prescription or over-the-counter painkillers.

What shouldn’t I do immediately after the procedure?

Don’t eat for at least two hours post-procedure because your mouth would still be numb. Don’t eat hard foods for at least 48-72 hours, and don’t chew with the affected side of your mouth. Avoid hot, spicy, and acidic foods and alcohol until your gums have healed. Tobacco delays healing, so avoid tobacco products for at least 72 hours following the procedure.