A close look at the “deep clean”: We treat gum disease with nonsurgical scaling and root planing.

It is our privilege at McKinney Dental to provide proactive, total family care. This approach is built on a solid foundation of regular visits to our office in Madison, Wisconsin. Often, six-month cleanings by one of our talented dental hygienists are all that is necessary to maintain and sustain the health and beauty of our patient’s smiles. These cleanings are done during the same appointment as your “check-up,” when Dr. Dan McKinney also examines patients’ teeth and gums to ensure everything is in tip-top shape. 

However, some individuals can benefit from a procedure called “scaling and root planning.” While it sounds like a mouthful, SRP is really a “deep cleaning” alternative to the standard, routine teeth cleaning. 

The ABCs and 123s of SRP 

During “regular” professional cleanings, our hygienists are trained and have the proper tools to effectively remove stubborn, hardened plaque (tartar) from the teeth and other hard-to-reach places. Lingering plaque, tartar, and bacteria promote the development of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. These harmful substances cannot be removed with a toothbrush and floss alone. 

Also, patients who buy dental instruments online aren’t trained to use such devices. When not used properly, these instruments can damage delicate tissues. 

Now, a professional “deep clean” with SRP involves removing sticky and hardened plaque at the gum line and from the roots of the teeth. Furthermore, during this process, special dental instruments are used to also smooth the rough root surfaces of the teeth. This step helps to prevent the attachment of plaque to the roots. It also aids in gingival healing and in supporting the reattachment of the gums to the teeth. 

Gum disease is progressive. Without treatment, the gums surrounding, protecting, and supporting the teeth begin to pull away. As gums recede, more of the crowns of your teeth are exposed. Your smile may appear “long in the tooth” or out of balance. Furthermore, the spaces or pockets between the teeth and gums grow larger without treatment and harbor the destructive germs responsible for disease and the processes leading to soft and hard tissue breakdown. As a non-surgical treatment for active gum disease, SRP offers many benefits: 

  • Comfortably heals 
  • Conservatively preserves tissues
  • Effectively prevents the need for further treatment 
  • Avoids future complications, such as the loss of teeth 
  • Prevents the need for aggressive, regenerative surgical procedures

Like other treatments offered at our Madison, WI office, SRP may not be suitable for everyone with gum disease. We are happy to discuss your options for treatment following an evaluation at McKinney Dental. Call our friendly team at (608) 249-6511 to schedule your visit.