Online Dental Education Library
Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.
Scaling and root planing therapy is a procedure that involves removing bacterial plaque and tartar from the root surface below the gumline with instruments and ultrasonics. It may also require removal of diseased tissue within the pocket with a laser. The goal of this treatment is to allow reattachment of the gums to the clean root surface and to shrink the periodontal pockets to levels that can be maintained by daily flossing and brushing. The following guidelines have been prepared for you in order to maximize healing and minimize any discomfort.
Refrain from eating for at least 2 hours or until the anesthesia has worn off.
Things to Avoid for the first 24 hours:
- Vigorous physical exercise, but you may return to work
- Drinking through a straw or sucking motions
- Do not smoke. (It's better to refrain for 48 hours)
- Drinking alcoholic beverages as this will retard the healing process
- Foods that are extreme in temperature or spicy
- Avoid using any strong mouthwashes that contain alcohol
Things to Do:
- You may take a non-aspirin analgesic to relieve any tenderness or discomfort, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Eat a well balanced soft diet for today. You may chew on the opposite side of the treated area until it is comfortable to chew normally.
- Rinse with a warm salt water rinse, a teaspoon in an 8 oz. glass of water, 3 times a day.
- Brush your teeth very lightly in the treated area the first night. Then begin flossing lightly as well the next day, gradually increasing to normal force by the week's end.
- After flossing and brushing, rinse with chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex), if it was prescribed, for at least 60 seconds. Do this at least twice daily. Chloraseptic and Cepastat are recommended mouthwashes.
- Several days after treatment your gums should begin to appear pinker, less swollen, and will bleed less when you floss. These are signs of healing and improving periodontal health. If you have any questions or problems, please call our office.