Routine dental cleanings are recommended to maintain good oral hygiene. However, there are cases in which a deeper clean is needed. Also known as scaling and root planing, this specialized procedure is designed to stop the progression of gum disease and prevent tooth loss. Learn more about surgical teeth cleaning, why it may be necessary, and how our periodontist in Vero Beach FL can help restore your smile.
What Is Surgical Teeth Cleaning?
Surgical teeth cleaning has a similar purpose to routine dental cleaning. What makes surgical teeth cleaning different is that the procedure is much more in-depth. These deep cleaning procedures help chip off tartar that has hardened on tooth surfaces and roots. It is most often recommended to patients diagnosed with periodontitis, or advanced gum disease.
If toxins are not removed, gum disease can worsen, resulting in symptoms like bleeding gums and deep gum pockets. The long-term effects of periodontitis can be significant and may include tooth loss or possible bone loss. Surgical teeth cleaning involves the planing or cleaning of the root surface, which is found below the gum line. It is often recommended that patients return for periodontal-specific general dental cleanings about every three months to maintain their oral health.
Who Needs Surgical Teeth Cleaning?
Surgical teeth cleaning is not right for every patient. However, it can be an effective treatment for individuals diagnosed with gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, or more advanced cases of gum disease.
In its earliest stages, gum disease does not always cause discomfort or visible symptoms. It can be difficult to determine if gum disease has developed without confirmation from a dentist in Vero Beach FL. However, gum disease is more common than most people think. In fact, nearly half (47.2 percent) of all adults aged 30 or older have some form of gum disease, according to NIH MedlinePlus. It is even more common in older adults, affecting 70.1 percent of individuals aged 65 and older.
There are some symptoms that may indicate the need for surgical teeth cleaning, including:
- Chronic bad breath or consistent bad taste in the mouth
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that appear red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Loose or separating permanent teeth
Some people are also at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Individuals with a family history of gum disease are more likely to develop the condition. Other risk factors include diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stress, smoking, poor oral hygiene, crooked teeth, overbite, defective dental fillings, or improperly fitted dental bridges. Hormone changes associated with oral health, such as pregnancy gingivitis, are also a risk factor for periodontitis.
To determine if surgical teeth cleaning is necessary, your periodontist will use a probe to measure the pockets that have formed in the gums. Dental X-rays may also be taken to determine if there has been bone loss. If the depth of the pockets indicates that the condition cannot be treated with a standard dental cleaning, surgical teeth cleaning may be recommended to eliminate the infection and encourage healing.
Depending on the severity of the condition, several dental appointments may be needed. Some periodontists will treat one side of the mouth and the other side in a separate visit. In severe cases, each quadrant of the mouth may be treated separately. After the procedure, it’s normal to experience some swelling and tenderness of the gums. Follow all aftercare instructions given by your provider for a fast recovery.
Contact Our Vero Beach Dental Practice
While daily brushing and flossing can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums, only an experienced periodontist has the necessary skills and tools to remove the tartar responsible for periodontal disease. At Vero Implants & Periodontics, Dr. Brown delivers precise and carefully crafted periodontal treatment plans that include services like surgical teeth cleaning. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact VIP at 772.569.9700.