What Should You Know Before Getting Periodontal Scaling?


Quick Answer

Periodontal scaling is a standard treatment for gum disease, according to WebMD. The procedure is done in a dentist's office and involves the dentist or a dental hygienist manually removing tartar from the teeth underneath the gum line with a scraper or an ultrasonic tool. Sometimes a local anesthetic is used to numb the gums during the procedure. Some patients require antibiotics before or after periodontal scaling.

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Full Answer

WebMD states that periodontal scaling has few risks. There may be some discomfort during the procedure. Local anesthetics and the use of an ultrasonic tool to break up tartar help minimize discomfort. Patients with a high infection risk, including those with certain heart murmurs, impaired immune systems or artificial body parts, may require supplementary antibiotics.

After a periodontal scaling, discomfort is minimal according to WebMD. If a local anesthetic was used, the lips and gums may stay numb for up to a few hours. Some dentists place antibiotic fibers under the gum line following periodontal scaling to heal infection quickly. When the fibers are used, a follow-up appointment is necessary to remove the fibers. This is typically done one week after the scaling.

After a periodontal scaling, the gums heal and grow back against the teeth. WebMD maintains that it is important to exercise proper dental hygiene to avoid repeat infections. This includes regular brushing and flossing and avoiding tobacco products.

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