If a patient is diagnosed with gum disease there’s a multitude of ways to treat gum disease. The most typical one that a dentist will prescribe is what’s called scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleanings. The purpose of the deep cleanings
The purpose of the deep cleanings is to basically remove all debris and buildup that occurs above and below the gum line and the teeth. We know that this is ultimately the problem which contributes to to to the gum disease, such as gingivitis, bone loss, teeth being lost and loose. And it’s important, when we do these deep cleanings, that we go in there and remove all of the irritating factors that contribute to this gum disease.
In one example we have a tooth that actually has gum disease, and we characterize gum disease by a couple things. One is that we have lots of buildup down right here around the gum line. Secondly, the tissue is very red, inflamed, and tender, and also bleeds a little bit more frequently than normal.
What we have to do when we do our deep cleanings is we’re removing all of these, this buildup around the teeth. So, in a typical appointment, the patient will come in, and the dentist will numb the patient up to make them comfortable. Typically, the hygienist will be the one that performs the deep cleanings. In a deep cleaning what they’re doing is they’re taking several different cleaning instruments, and placing it across the tooth where the buildup is and removing the buildup.
Now, if we have buildup, we take our instrument and we are going to gently pull some of this material off the tooth, and kind of as in the light scraping motion we’re removing all of this buildup around the teeth.
By removing the buildup that will help cure the gum disease and get the tissue into a more stable and comfortable condition. Once the deep cleanings have been completed we will basically bring the patient back; roughly about four to five weeks later after the treatment has been completed, and we will reevaluate the gums.
The things that we look at are the tissue color; Is the tissue nice and pink? or is it still red?. Is it nice and tight or is it inflamed and swollen? How much bleeding do we have? Has the bleeding decreased since we initially evaluated it?
Provided all those things have improved and responded then that is the first steps in treating the gum disease. Once we’ve identified that we have that in a stable condition the next step is to get the patient in a more frequent recall interval, where they’re getting more frequent cleanings.
This can be as much as every three months to as little as every six months. It varies from patient to patient based on how much treatment we think will be necessary.