The first goal of treatment for periodontal (or gum) disease is to control the infection. This begins with processes called scaling and root planing. These are deep cleaning procedures to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the affected areas. Root planing involves smoothing the tooth’s root.
For these procedures, the area will be numbed to prevent any pain or discomfort for the patient. Then, the dental hygienist will thoroughly clean the tooth and scrape away the plaque that has formed under the gum line. Next, she will smooth the root and surface of the tooth to prevent plaque from growing again in any crevices or divots. From there, the dental hygienist will use Arestin, an antibiotic, in the pockets of the gums around the teeth to mitigate and prevent further infection.
Once the plaque and bacteria are eliminated, the pockets around the teeth and roots will be able to begin to heal.
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