A visit to the dentist is necessary every six months. When you visit your dentist, you have to have your teeth checked and cleaned. You are lucky if your oral health is perfect, but if your dentist diagnoses you with gum disease, you may have to undergo dental scaling.
Dental scaling, along with root planing, are the two most common procedures done to treat gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Gum disease is basically an inflammation of the gum tissue, and tends to affect the teeth and bones in your mouth. This disease is usually caused by plaque buildup from bacteria and acids. Dental scaling and root planning are actually the first steps prior to surgery.
For some people, these procedures cause discomfort. Dupont Circle dentists typically give their patients local anesthetic to numb their mouth during the procedure. There are two kinds of scaling instruments used by dentists and dental hygienists. One or both instruments may be used:
The dentist can use a curette and a dental scaler to remove plaque from your teeth manually. Since the plaque is not visible, the dentist relies on touch to find which areas have rough spots and tartar buildup.
The dentist can also use ultrasonic scaling instruments to remove plaque from the teeth. These instruments feature a vibrating metal part that chips off tartar. It also has a water spray that washes tartar away, and keeps the metal tip cool.
These dental instruments are available in different sizes and shapes. Different teeth need different instruments. The same tooth may even require different instruments for its surfaces.
Ultrasonic instruments are generally used for removing large plaque deposits as well as calculus from the roots and crowns of the teeth. On the other hand, curettes and scalers, which are hand instruments, are used for removing the remaining material on the teeth, and making sure that their surfaces are smooth and clean.
If there isn not much work that needs to be done on your teeth, your procedure can be finished within a day. This is why you should make it a point to see your dentist regularly. You have to find out if you have gum disease as early as possible. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of this disease. If you have it, your scaling and root planning may be done quickly. If you have periodontitis, you may need to go back a few more times. One quadrant or one quarter of the mouth is usually taken care of every visit.
When your treatment is over, you still have to make follow-up appointments with your dentist. You may experience soreness and sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures after two or three days. Your dentist may prescribe you pain relievers. You may also be asked to use antiseptic mouthwashes. Do not panic if you see some blood when you brush and floss your teeth. The bleeding usually stops within one week.