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Root Scaling and Planing Spring Lake, MI

Combat gum disease and promote oral health with root scaling and planing.

If you have gum disease, you may need a root scaling and planing procedure to help get rid of it. This is a serious condition that can lead to eventual bone and tooth loss. We will go through every treatment we can to prevent gum disease and other painful conditions. At Joe D. Arbutante, DDS, we recommend that you visit our dental office twice per year so we can do just that. We want to remove plaque and tartar before they can cause gum disease, gum recession, and the need for this procedure. However, if you do need a root scaling and planing procedure, we can help and we can ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during it.

What is periodontal scaling and root planing?

In this procedure, the plaque and tartar underneath the gum tissue is removed. This can be done using a metal dental tool, ultrasound energy, and lasers. A dentist will break up the plaque and tartar before scraping it out. If the roots have plaque buildup as well, the root planing procedure will scale them to remove the plaque and then smooth out any rough areas so the tooth can be both healthy and fully functional.

How long does root scaling and planing take?

In most cases, this procedure will need to be broken up into four appointments. This allows a dentist to separate your mouth into quadrants and clean each one of them individually. Since the process is very methodical, it takes longer than the standard teeth cleaning and your gums may experience some irritation and swelling. By only cleaning one area of the mouth at a time, the process is more manageable and the recovery time is reduced.

Will the dentist use anesthesia?

Yes. Your gums will be numbed before the root scaling and planing procedure starts. Some dentist may also use nitrous oxide or other forms of sedation to help relax you prior to getting started. When sedation is used, a dentist can sometimes complete more of the procedure in one sitting. Additionally, you may want to use a desensitizing toothpaste afterward in order to further numb the gums.

What are the risks involved the procedure?

There is a risk of developing an infection from this procedure. You can help reduce the risk by rinsing with warm saltwater throughout the day and keeping your teeth clean. We may also prescribe you an antibiotic rinse to use. However, the biggest risk comes from not having the procedure completed at all. That can lead to more severe gum disease, gum recession, and even tooth loss.

What should I expect during and after root scaling and planing?

During the procedure, you can expect for your gums to be numbed and for your teeth to be very slowly and methodically cleaned. Very often, an ultrasound is used to help break up the plaque and tartar before a dental tool scrapes it off of the tooth. Some dentist use lasers to complete the entire procedure. Since your gums will be numb, you will feel some pressure but should not feel any direct pain or discomfort. However, afterward, your gums will be sore, they will swell, and may ache in general. You can help control this with ibuprofen and ice packs if necessary. Typically, the worst part is over within four hours, so you may just want to go home and sleep. In the rare case your jaw feels sore and stiff, you can place a warm compress on it.

For several days to a week or more, you may experience some sensitivity when eating, especially if you are eating anything sweet. One way to address this is to use something soft to clean the area and then place a desensitizing toothpaste on a Q-tip so it can be gently applied to the area around your gums.

There will be some bleeding when you brush your teeth, but this should only last for a day or two. Just remember to be gentle when brushing around your gums.

Are there any warning signs to watch for after the procedure?

Yes. If your gums are bleeding excessively, you develop a hard boil (bump) inside your mouth, or the irritation persists for more than two weeks, you should schedule an immediate follow-up appointment.

Can I eat like normal after a root scaling and planing procedure?

No. We recommend that you avoid anything hot for two days and that you do not eat anything crunchy like nuts or chips for four days. This is to ensure that your gums do not experience any further irritation. Simultaneously, your gums may be sensitive to sugar, so avoid any candy or treats for several days. If you have a sweet tooth, try a sugar-free popsicle instead.

What happens to my gums after they heal from the procedure?

Your gums should begin to return to normal, and there should be no restrictions long term regarding what you can eat. By removing the plaque and tartar, your gums should begin to return to good health. This means that the swelling you have been experiencing will be reduced, they should return to a healthy pink color, and they will no longer be irritated in general. As long as the procedure works as it should, you will not need more invasive gum procedures. However, if you have waited a long time and your gums have already started to recede, this may not be enough. You may also require a future gum grafting procedure.

Will I need follow-up procedures?

Typically, you will need to return to your Spring Lake dentist within six months for a follow-up visit. This is to ensure that your gum health has improved. However, the only real follow-up procedure you need is to visit our office for a teeth cleaning. At Joe D. Arbutante, DDS, we recommend that you have your teeth cleaned every six months. This will prevent plaque and tartar from building up again so you are unlikely to need a root scaling and planing procedure in the future.

Get Your Questions Answered

At Joe D. Arbutante, DDS, we enjoy discussing oral health. If you have questions about your gums or a root scaling and planing procedure, call (616) 842-0090 and schedule an appointment with our Spring Lake, MI dental office.

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Joe D. Arbutante, DDS offers a complete range of dental care services. Try us out for yourself to see how we can help you feel more confident with your smile.

What are our patients saying about us?

The best way to learn about our dental practice and the service we offer is through our patients. Read the patient testimonials below to find out more about the standard of care you can expect from Dr. Joe D. Arbutante DDS.
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Les R.
Les R.

Love this Dentist. Kind, Professional and Efficient team. They’ve got a smooth system and provide excellent customer service.

Marc M.
Marc M.

Dr Arbutante and staff always do an excellent job with yearly check ups and cleanings. They were very helpful in scheduling a quick emergency checkup due to tooth discomfort. I was quickly scheduled even during holiday timing. Thank you Dr Arbutante and staff!

Bob D.
Bob D.

Excellent first visit and welcome to Dr. Joe’s practice. The staff is caring and professional. The exam was thorough. It’s good to know you are in good hands.

Anita N.
Anita N.

Friendly staff very professional. Dr. was great walked me through. Everything he was going to do. I must say this is my best dentist visit ever.

Bret L.
Bret L.

I have been a patient with Arbutante, DDS for nearly three years. They are excellent in an emergency (broken crown) and for going cleanings, fillings, etc. Their staff is knowledgeable, professional, and top of all, they are nice people. I highly recommend this group.

Jef F.
Jef F.

First preventative visit last week, and it went very well. Glad I made the change since this dental practice is so much closer to my home. Thanks!

Jasmine S.
Jasmine S.

My favorite dentist office! Dr. Arbutante and his staff really strive to care for the health of my teeth. I feel comfortable asking questions and know what they recommend is not to sell but to help!

Sara W.
Sara W.

Excellent service. Staff is very kind and caring. Dr Arbutante tells you exactly what he is doing and how long the procedure will take. Very welcoming

Matt K.
Matt K.

Amazing service. Kind and very attentive staff and Dr. Joe as well! Awesome group of people.

Lorri W.
Lorri W.

He is an awesome dentist he took the time to explain everything he was doing. The staff was also awesome. I would recommend going to him.

Connie M.
Connie M.

My tooth was taken care of fast and without pain. Dr Joe had a very nice assistant as well.

Ben A.
Ben A.

Good people, doing the right things. Really appreciate the approach and feel well taken care of as a family.

Dan M.
Dan M.

Had a crown that broke and called Joe’s emergency number and left a message and he responded very promptly! Was my first time seeing Joe and he and his staff were wonderful! They were able to get me in right away and Joe took care of my issue very quickly! If you need any dental services i would highly recommend Joe and staff!

Mary D.
Mary D.

As always Dr Joe and his staff were excellent and friendly! Raquel assisted and was super good at her job and so sweet. Dr Joe always informs what he does and asks if I’m doing ok. Front staff are always great and really nice👍🏼!

Cathy T.
Cathy T.

I received my first crown ever today. Dr. Joe and his assistant were very friendly and put me at ease. I was impressed with the amount of time spent on sizing my temporary crown. I’ll be back next week for my permanent one which seems fast. The receptionist is always very warm and nice at checkout.

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Schedule Your Dental Visit Today!

Ready to give your smile the care it deserves? Dr. Joe D. Arbutante DDS is ready to help. Visit our dental office to improve the health and appearance of your smile. No matter what your dental goals are, you can count on our dedicated team. Schedule your appointment today!
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