If you were diagnosed with gum disease which has resulted in formation of deep pockets, bleeding gums, painful cleanings and often bad breath, you would be referred to a periodontist for an assessment and treatment to address the infection and stop the progress of gum disease.
The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough non-surgical scaling and root planning often referred to as deep cleaning. This term may be misleading as scaling and root planning is not prophylactic in nature and is only recommended as part of active treatment. Scaling and root planning is NOT routinely performed every year unlike periodontal maintenance cleanings. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and root planning can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or as initial treatment phase in preparation for gum surgery. It may reduce the number of areas requiring surgical treatment.
If treatment is successful, scaling and planning may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease progression. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root Planning remove bacteria that cause these conditions.
Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.
Dr. Berkovich will perform a re-evaluation 6 weeks after the completion of scaling and root planning to determine the future course of treatment or maintenance program.
If you have any questions about the types of services we provide that you would like answered before you visit, please feel free to contact us. The San Francisco Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants team looks forward to meeting you and putting you on the path to the perfect smile.