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Preventing future gum disease and loss of teeth with Scaling And Root Planning

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Scaling And Root Planning procedure
Scaling And Root Planning procedure

This is deep cleaning usually involving scraping off bacteria deposits strongly attached to the root surface. It is these deposits that cause severe destruction of the bone supporting the teeth in the mouth. Once the bone is gone, it

never comes back again naturally. Deep cleaning is recommended for treating established gum disease (periodontitis) and it is very useful in preventing future gum disease and loss of teeth. Commonly in Kenya, SRP will be carried out by a specialist type of dentist known as a periodontist even though some dentists are very good at it too. In other regions of the world, SRP may be carried out by a hygienist.

Scaling and Polishing Vs Root Planing

For Patients with Good Oral Health: Regular Cleaning

Brushing and flossing twice a day is crucial, but even if you practice excellent oral hygiene, plaque build-up is still inevitable. If it's not removed regularly, it can eventually harden into unsightly tartar, or cause gum infections. For patients with healthy teeth and gums, regular teeth cleanings – or prophylaxis – is enough to remove plaque and prevent inflammation. During regular cleanings, a dental hygienist will use a small handheld instrument called a scaler to scrape tartar from your teeth, or an ultrasonic device to shake plaque loose. Prophylaxis takes place on the crowns of your teeth, above the gum line, and most people with good oral health can maintain their smile with twice-yearly prophylactic cleanings.

For Patients with Periodontal Disease

Deep Cleaning of periodontal disease, a gum infection that can damage the tissue and bone that supports your teeth. The mildest form of gum disease is gingivitis, which causes red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, resulting in severe deterioration of the gums and bone, and with time, tooth loss. 

the AIRFLOW machine used at The Periodontist Dental centre for SRP and other tooth cleaning.
The AIRFLOW machine used at The Periodontist Dental centre for SRP and other tooth cleanings.

Advantages of AIRFLOW

• AIR-FLOW Therapy offers complete biofilm removal and can be used on every patient. Since it is safe to use on surfaces where biofilm accumulation can be dangerous, primarily subgingivally and on implants, AIR-FLOW Therapy aids in the reduction of inflammation and the prevention of related diseases ranging from gingivitis to periodontitis/peri-implantitis.

• AIR-FLOW Therapy saves an average of 8-12 minutes per patient. When using AIR-FLOW prior to scaling, clinicians will save time on not only biofilm removal but also calculus removal since scaling can focus on hard deposit detection and removal alone.

• Clinicians receive positive feedback from their patients who have experienced AIR-FLOW Therapy. Incorporating this advanced, fast and comfortable technology into practice will encourage even patients with the most complex conditions to returning regularly.

• With the 8-12 minutes per patient saved, the clinician is now able to do something extra during every appointment that they may not have had time for previously. There is now an opportunity to explain and sell billable services such as whitening, clear aligners, sealants, etc., or even update charting to ensure patient treatment plans are as up to date as possible

Gum disease

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease.

Common symptoms

• Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing

• Red, swollen, or tender gums

• Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

• Receding gums

• Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums

• Loose or shifting teeth

• Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

A patient should seek treatment from a gum specialist should they experience the above signs.

SRP procedure

The teeth naturally build up plaque and tartar which you then remove by brushing. If this isn’t effective against the build-up and you have plaque deep towards the roots of your teeth, then it is likely that you will need to have your teeth planed. SRP is also common when gum disease has started to split the gum from the tooth. This can cause bacteria to work its way towards the base of your teeth which in turn could cause you problems such as bone or tooth loss.

Scaling – removing plaque and other irregularities from the surface of the tooth, be it the dental crown or the root.

Planing – removing rough parts of the surface of the tooth, (cementum, enamel and surface dentin), that contains bacteria or microorganisms

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