Scaling and Root Planing Post Operative Instructions

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. The purpose of the treatment is to remove bacterial plaque and tartar from around teeth and under the gum line, which is causing bone loss. The goal is to produce clean, smooth teeth and roots, which will promote healing of the inflammation and infection that causes gum disease.

After scaling and root planing, avoid eating anything on the area being treated for two hours or until the dental anesthetic has worn off completely. Avoid any hard “chippy” foods such as tortilla chips, potato chips, popcorn, or seeds for the next several days.

To help soothe the area, rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day with warm salt water rinses. Use one teaspoon of salt for every 3 ounces of water. If you are prescribed Peridex/Chlorhexidine, use as directed.

Resume your homecare regimen of brushing twice a day and daily flossing immediately, but be gentle with the area recently treated. Your gum health must be maintained with proper homecare, as instructed, and regular dental visits.

Refrain from smoking for 24 to 48 hours after scaling and root planing. Tobacco will delay healing of the tissues.

You may take a non-aspirin pain reliever for any tenderness or discomfort. Take Ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol unless you are allergic or have medical conditions that prevent taking these medications.

You may experience some cold sensitivity, this is normal. Any sensitivity should gradually go away in a few weeks. If needed, you can use desensitizing toothpastes, such as Crest Sensitivity, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief or Sensodyne. Avoid toothpastes with “whitening” or baking soda, as this will increase the sensitivity.