Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy

Typically performed by your dental hygienist, non-surgical periodontal therapy, or a “deep cleaning” is the process of removing or eliminating the agents such as tartar and plaque which cause inflammation in and around the gums.

When would I need this?

At your cleaning visit, the hygienist and dentist will determine the state of health of your gums and teeth. Measurements will have been recorded of the pocket depths around your tooth, indicating inflammation or health. Additionally, the dental clinicians will consult your radiographs and examine these for indications of bone loss. When bone loss, pocket formation, and bleeding exist, your dental professional may recommend you have a Scaling and Root Planing, or “deep cleaning” to reduce the debris below your gumline in an attempt to halt the progression of periodontal disease. The ultimate goal in performing non-surgical periodontal therapy is to eliminate inflammation and bring the gums to a state of health, and assist our patients in maintaining healthy gums from there.

What can I expect?

During your deep cleaning visit, Dr. Lim or your hygienist will place a topical anesthetic, and will then comfortably administer a local anesthetic to the areas being treated. By getting you numb for the visit, we can ensure your comfort and ease with the treatment. Then, a thorough cleaning of your teeth, including the roots, will be performed utilizing traditional hand instruments and a water irrigating instrument.

There may be some mild post-operative discomfort in the area of the injection site. Warm salt water rinses or a prescription chlorhexidine mouth wash may be advised.

After having the areas treated, you may be placed on a more frequent cleaning interval based on your periodontal state. Usually patients are placed on a 3 or 4 month cleaning regimen, called Periodontal Maintenance visits after the procedure to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

In some cases, there may be areas in the mouth that do not respond to this treatment alone. In those circumstances, we offer the local delivery of antibiotics called Arestin® to the site.

How long does it take?

This procedure typically takes about one to two appointments in our office, depending on the amount of areas affected. Usually one side of the mouth will be done at each appointment. The appointments may vary in length, but typically range from a sixty to ninety minute appointment.