Scaling and root planing (SRP) is a common dental procedure used to treat gum disease (periodontitis). It involves cleaning the teeth below the gumline to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria that can contribute to gum inflammation and infection.
The procedure is performed on one-fourth (or quadrant) of the mouth at a time. The mouth is divided into four quadrants: upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left.
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Assessment: The dentist or dental hygienist will assess the condition of your gums and teeth to determine the extent of gum disease.
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia may be used to numb the gums and teeth in the targeted quadrant.
Scaling: The dentist or hygienist will use special instruments to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth, both above and below the gumline. This process is known as scaling.
Root Planing: After scaling, the roots of the teeth are smoothed (planed) to remove any rough areas where bacteria can easily accumulate.
Antimicrobial Rinse: Sometimes, an antimicrobial rinse may be applied to the treated area to help reduce bacteria and promote healing.
Follow-up: Additional appointments may be necessary to complete the treatment for all four quadrants, depending on the severity of gum disease.
Performing Scaling and root planing per quadrant allows for a more focused and thorough cleaning, and it also helps manage patient comfort during the procedure.
What is Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)?
Scaling and Root Planing is a non-surgical dental procedure used to treat gum disease (periodontitis). It involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth and smoothing of the tooth roots to promote gum health.
Why is SRP necessary?
SRP is necessary to address gum disease by removing the accumulated plaque and tartar, which can lead to inflammation, infection, and gum recession. It helps prevent the progression of gum disease and promotes oral health.
How is the mouth divided for SRP when performed per quadrant?
The mouth is divided into four quadrants: upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left. Scaling and root planing is performed on one quadrant at a time to allow for a more focused and thorough cleaning.
Does Scaling and root planing hurt?
Local anesthesia is often used to numb the gums and teeth during Scaling and root planing , ensuring minimal discomfort. Some patients may experience mild sensitivity or soreness after the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
How long does the SRP procedure take?
The duration of SRP depends on the severity of gum disease and the extent of plaque and tartar buildup. Each quadrant typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour. The complete treatment may be spread over multiple appointments.
Is there any downtime after SRP?
There is generally minimal downtime after SRP. Patients can resume normal activities, but it’s advisable to avoid very hot or cold foods and beverages for a short period. Good oral hygiene practices and follow-up appointments are crucial for optimal recovery.
Are there any side effects of Scaling and root planing?
Some patients may experience mild side effects such as temporary tooth sensitivity or gum soreness. These effects are usually short-lived and can be managed with appropriate care and any prescribed medications.
How often should SRP be performed?
The frequency of Scaling and root planing depends on the severity of gum disease. In some cases, one treatment may be sufficient, while others may require more frequent maintenance. Regular dental check-ups will help determine the appropriate schedule.
Can SRP be performed on all patients?
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for gum disease, but its suitability depends on the individual’s oral health and specific conditions. A dental professional will assess and determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient.
How can I maintain oral health after SRP?
Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and attending dental check-ups, is essential. Following the dentist’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle contribute to long-term oral health.
It’s important to note that scaling and root planing is a proactive step in addressing gum disease and preventing its progression. Regular follow-up appointments and good oral hygiene practices at home are essential for maintaining healthy gums. If you have concerns about your oral health, it’s recommended to consult with your dentist or dental professional for personalized advice and treatment.