Treating Gum Disease with Scaling and Root Planing

Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss. Eventually, it can also affect your overall health by increasing your risk of heart disease and other conditions. Fortunately, Dr. Robert W. Hessberger offers scaling and root planing at his Chicago, IL, practice to treat early stages of gum disease. This procedure removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smooths the surfaces of tooth roots to treat gum inflammation and prevent periodontal health issues in the future.

scaling and root planing
Removing plaque and tartar from below the gumline can resolve inflammation and prevent other health issues.

When Is Scaling and Root Planing Necessary?

As it progresses, gum disease causes deep pockets to form between your teeth and gums. In a healthy smile, gum tissue sits tightly against teeth. As gum disease develops, the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth. The resulting pockets can fill with bacteria, causing your periodontal issues to become worse. 

Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line. By eliminating this bacteria, this procedure helps your gums to heal and reattach to the teeth. 

Generally, Dr. Hessberger will recommend scaling and root planing if you have pockets that are four millimeters or deeper. He can assess your periodontal health during an appointment and determine if the procedure is right for you. 

What to Expect during Treatment

Dr. Hessberger or one of our hygienists will perform scaling (removing plaque and tartar) before smoothing the tooth roots (planing). 

During the procedure, we will:

  • Administer a local anesthetic to numb gum tissue
  • Remove all plaque and tartar above and below the gum line
  • Smooth the surfaces of the roots to discourage bacteria from accumulating in the future

When performed under local anesthesia, scaling and root planing is a relatively painless process. Depending on the extent of your issues, you may need to attend multiple appointments to completely restore the health of your gums.

During an exam, we can assess the health of your smile and determine the treatment or combination of treatments needed to restore your oral health.

After a Deep Cleaning

Some patients experience sensitivity or discomfort after scaling and root planing. Your gums may swell or bleed slightly for a few days. Dr. Hessberger may recommend using a desensitizing toothpaste or prescribe a mouthwash to use after the procedure.

It is crucial for you to floss and brush properly following a deep cleaning. Consistent at-home dental hygiene can prevent periodontal health issues in the future. You should also attend regular exams and cleanings. For patients who have developed chronic gum disease or are naturally more prone to developing this condition, we often recommend more frequent visits to our office.

The Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

Compared to treatments for the later stages of gum disease, scaling and root planing is a minimally invasive procedure that involves little to no downtime.

A deep cleaning can:

  • Restore the health of your gums
  • Stop the progression of periodontal disease
  • Improve the comfort and appearance of your smile
  • Prevent more serious oral health issues

Protect Your Oral Health

If you are experiencing swollen, red, or bleeding gums, these are symptoms of gum disease. Please contact our office online or call (773) 792-5562 today. During an exam, we can assess the health of your smile and determine the treatment or combination of treatments needed to restore your oral health.

Dr. Hessberger and his staff

Robert W. Hessberger, DDS

Robert W. Hessberger, DDS has been making patients throughout Greater Chicago smile since 1984. Dr. Hessberger's prestigious affiliations include:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists
  • American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine

To book your consultation, reach out to us online or give us a call at (773) 792-5562.

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5511 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60656

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