Scale and Root Planing Risks
Can you honestly think of any reward that doesn’t come with some sort of risk? Scaling and root planing are two procedures to stop gum disease and reverse the process of the infected soft tissue. It quite honestly is the only to reverse the disease. The risks are quite minimal but will be in every consent document prior to having the procedure.
Why do You need Scaling and Root Planing?
Most of the general population knows what plaque is. Each and every one of us has millions of bacteria in our mouths every day, 24/7. You are encouraged to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to attempt to reduce the amount of bacteria. If you do not the amount of bacteria will build and also will immediately create a tacky film on the surfaces of all of your teeth. As the film develops it turns into plaque. This plaque is made up of bacteria. The acid in the bacteria will then begin to attack the enamel of your teeth resulting in cavities. If the plaque develops below the gum line it will immediately infect the soft tissue of the gums. You can brush your teeth twice a day but be guilty of rushing or missing areas and you are still allowing the plaque to do its damage. This is the reason that half of the adult population of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease.
The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
A professional cleaning of your teeth by your dentist or a hygienist is performed by a hand-held tool that scrapes the plaque from the surface of the tooth. If the plaque, through an examination, is determined to be below the gum line the cleaning process proceeds deeper. Local anesthesia can be introduced to mitigate discomfort with your gums. Root planing is taking the process one step deeper.
The Risks associated with Scaling and Root Planing
Most of these are very obvious after going through a procedure of this nature but none the less are addressed in the consent form. First off, you may have a reaction to any medication or the local anesthesia used. After the procedure you may experience some bleeding and depending on the conditions of your gums and teeth possibly some pain. There could be swelling and bruising based on the extent of the work that was done. Your teeth may have an increased sensitivity to temperature. The process may increase the visibility of more root surface which might make the teeth and roots slightly painful. If the gum disease was very advanced you might even lose a tooth or experience one being loose. The procedure is easily the lesser of two evils. As in any medical procedure there is a recovery period. If you do not reverse the gum disease the consequences are far more severe. Take this moment to reflect on your oral hygiene habits. Slow down, do a good job, and see your dentist twice a year at regular intervals so you can be proactive together on your oral health care.
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