Scaling and Root Planing
in Long Island
Periodontal Tooth Scaling
At Dr. Scharf’s office, we provide a variety of periodontal procedures to our patients. We strive to provide high-quality work that our patients can trust. We know that each of our patients is an individual with different needs and concerns, so we always take this into account at every appointment. Our team works with you to figure out the best choices for your personal oral hygiene. We will listen to your needs and concerns and help you make a plan.
We are also invested in educating our patients on the importance and relevance of different dental procedures. Many of our patients have questions about certain procedures such as what they are, how they are performed, and how they can be helpful. One of the services we provide is known as periodontal tooth scaling. Dr. David R. Scharf can offer periodontal tooth scaling and periodontal root planing to patients. If you have ever wondered about this non-surgical treatment and how it could help you, this article goes into those details. We offer gum scaling in Long Island as well as many other services.
When is this procedure recommended?
Routine cleanings from a dental hygienist are done to prevent gum (or periodontal) disease. Scaling and root planing are similarly a non-surgical procedure that is done to treat periodontal disease once it has started. This process, which is sometimes referred to as deep cleaning, is a highly reminded treatment for patients with periodontitis that persists.
Healthy gum tissue will fit tightly around the teeth. When gum tissue is unhealthy, it can cause deep pockets to form in the gums as plaque builds up. If you have advanced signs of gum disease, including bad breath or tartar buildup, we might recommend scaling and root planing as a way to treat your condition.
What is the process like?
These procedures might take more than one appointment. A local anesthetic is very often used to minimize pain or discomfort. Dr. Scharf will scale the plaque and tartar from your teeth and root surfaces. Then, for the root planing portion, he will smooth rough areas on the surface of the roots of your teeth. When root surfaces are smooth, bacteria is less likely to re-attach underneath the gumline which means gums are more likely to attach normally and heal.
What happens after the procedure?
You will be asked to have a follow-up visit with us at Dr. Scharf’s office. At this appointment, the healing of your gums will be assessed. In many cases, the red and swollen gum tissue will become firm again and back to the healthy, pink color. In many cases, bleeding will listen and those pockets will get smaller. If your gums respond to the treatment positively, further treatment might not be needed.
If you are suffering from advanced periodontal disease, it is possible further, surgical procedures might be necessary to prevent bone loss. But, in many cases, periodontal scaling and root planing can reduce the amount of surgery needed.
What happens in the future to prevent gum disease from returning?
After you are treated by Dr. Scharf, it is essential that you keep up on a daily oral hygiene regimen and maintain good dental habits. You will likely be put on a schedule of visits to ensure you get regular cleanings and checkups. Periodontal maintenance visits usually involve routine cleanings as well as measurement of pockets to ensure your gums are healthy again.
It is also important to maintain healthy habits such as brushing and flossing twice daily.
How do I prevent periodontal (gum) disease?
The American Dental Association recommends the following habits in order to prevent gum disease:
- Brush at least twice a day and use toothpaste with fluoride.
- Replace toothbrushes when the bristles wear down.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Use a mouthwash with antimicrobial ingredients.
- Don’t smoke or use any products that contain tobacco such as chewing tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, etc.
Gum Flap Surgery
If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from periodontal disease, you may be feeling lost and a little overwhelmed when it comes to treatment options. Instead of feeling lost, let us create a treatment plan that is custom to you. Dr. David Scharf is one of the best Board Certified Periodontists for surgical (and nonsurgical) periodontal treatments. In fact, Dr. Scharf is one of the only periodontists in the area that is certified by the American Academy of Periodontology. His gum flap surgery in Long Island is said to be one of the most effective treatments for patients suffering from severe Periodontitis.
Periodontitis is caused when severe gingivitis is left untreated for long and extensive periods of time. Gingivitis occurs when bacterial plaque finds its way between your gum line and your teeth causing moderate (and sometimes) severe dental infections. Typically, periodontitis shows up first as gingivitis and then progresses. In fact, in most cases, those suffering from gingivitis rarely even know that they have it. Leaving them quite surprised when suddenly diagnosed with periodontitis. Common symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis are: red, puffy gums that bleed easily, and mouth pain. Although you may not know you have the disease, if you suspect that you do, it’s incredibly important that you receive treatment as soon as possible. When left untreated, patients can develop an even more serious form of the disease and may end up losing multiple teeth
Those with suspected, or diagnosed Periodontitis (or even just mild gingivitis) have a few treatment options ranging from the Pinhole Surgical Technique, Laser Periodontal Therapy (LANAP) and finally, Gum Flap Surgery. Dr. Scharf’s other procedures are non surgical, and relatively non-invasive.
Gum Flap Surgery is an in-office procedure in which Dr. Scharf separates the infected or inflamed gum tissue from the teeth to treat and remove a variety of bacterial infections. Additionally, Dr. Scharf may correct any bone defects on the surface of your teeth with a procedure called recontouring. With gum flap surgery, you’ll leave our offices with a better smile, all around!
Of course, a non-surgical gum disease treatment for less severe cases of periodontitis is often attempted first but if the gum infection doesn’t subside, gum flap surgery may be recommended.
When undergoing Gum Flap Surgery in Long Island, patients can expect to have the plaque scraped off their teeth (similar as you would in a regular tooth cleaning) followed by an injection of local anesthesia. Once your mount is fully numbed, Dr. Scharf will use a small scalpel to separate gum tissue from the teeth. Next, Dr. Scharf will remove inflamed gum or tooth tissue, and perform a surgery called root planing and scaling. This procedure cleans up any plaque or tartar below the surface of the gum line. When the teeth are cleaned and restored, gum tissue will then be stitched back into place.
Unless self-dissolving are used, expect to make a return trip to our Long Island offices within 7 days to have your dental stitches removed, and a follow-up exam conducted. Additionally, patients may be sent home wearing a “periodontal pack” or small bandage placed on sensitive areas of the surgical site. This bandage should be left in place for as long as our team recommends.
After surgery, patients can expect to feel minor pain or discomfort. If you are suffering from a severe cases of pain, be sure to call our offices for treatment recommendations. However, most patients find that an over-the-counter medication will treat pain from the dental surgery just fine.
In most cases, an antibiotic may be prescribed to combat any post-surgical infections that your mouth is bound to be exposed to. It is extremely important that those recovering complete the full course of antibiotics, or a harmful infection may pop up and delay your healing time. Swelling is often a side effect of gum flap surgery, but this symptom is easily treatable with an ice packs. Most patients like to use packages of frozen vegetables because they are so soft and flexible.
Depending on the severity of your case, you may be prescribed a mouthwash post surgery to keep the area clean and more importantly, plaque free. It’s important to only use prescribed mouthwashes because they contain an important ingredient called chlorhexidine that helps to speed up recovery. Over the counter mouthwash may harm the natural healing cycle of your mouth. Talk to Dr. Scharf about post-op care before you leave our offices, because it may be decided on a patient to patient basis.
Patients should avoid eating hot foods and avoid rinsing the mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery. Keep away from chewy, spicy, or brittle foods. These could dislodge your stitches and cause an infection. Eat foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, or scrambled eggs for the next 7-10 days following your surgery, and stay away from spicy foods until the stitches have healed. Remember: it’s important to disrupt the surgical site as infrequently as possible.
If you’ve recently had gum flap surgery, make sure you call our offices at (631) 661-6633 if you experience any of the following symptoms as they may be sign of an infection that needs prompt treatment:
- Continual bleeding after the first 48 hours of surgery.
- Swelling after the first 48 hours of surgery.
- Dry sockets due to straw usage
- Extreme pain (this may be sign of a dental infection)
- If your periodontal pack or surgery dressings come undone before instructed.
If you feel like you may be a good candidate for gum flap surgery, or you feel like you may have periodontitis, protect your teeth (and your overall health!) by calling our offices today. Dr. Scharf has had years of experience in the periodontal field, receiving honors from Boston University as well as logging over 2,400 hours of continuing dental education. If you are looking for someone who knows their stuff, it’s definitely Dr. Scharf. Dr. Scharf is one of the very best Periodontists in Long Island, and he and his team are committed to making your Gum flap surgery as pain free and comfortable as possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!