Should I Get Root Planing and Scaling (“deep cleaning”) from the General Dentist or Periodontist?

Teeth Cleaning

What is a Scaling and Root Planing (“deep cleaning”)?

To understand which dental professional you should see for your treatment, it’s important to first understand what a deep cleaning is, and why you need it.

Scaling and root planings are done in order to manage a condition known as periodontal disease - you may know it as gum disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissues that is caused by large amounts of bacteria (known as calculus) above and below the gumline.

Gum disease can’t be reversed, but it can be managed and prevented from worsening with regular periodontal cleanings. During your scaling and root planing, , your hygienist will remove the plaque and calculus  from the surfaces of the teeth and below the gumline. Once the mouth is clean, antibiotics will be placed in the pocket of space between the tooth and gum. This helps keep the area clean and discourages the growth of bacteria in the time between cleaning appointments.

General Dentist vs Periodontist

So, which professional should you trust your deep cleanings to?

In truth, the answer varies from case to case. Most general dentists are well-equipped for handling most minor cases of periodontitis, but more advanced cases might require more intensive treatment from a specialist.

Periodontists are dental specialists that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, among other things. If your case is complex or severe, your dentist may prefer to have you referred to a specialist in order to ensure that you receive the best treatment possible.

If you have a minor case of periodontitis, your dentist may choose to oversee your treatment in their own office, or they may even work in conjunction with a periodontist to develop a plan of action for your treatment. It’s quite common for two dental professionals to work together to complete their patients’ treatment.

Every case is different; while one person can successfully manage their gum disease treatments in the care of their general dentists, another person may require treatment to be completed by a specialist. If you are not sure where to go for your deep cleaning, visit your dentist for a consultation. This is the first step towards designing the treatment plan that is right for you.

Deep Cleanings in San Jose

Here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists, we offer comprehensive gum disease treatment options for patients with minor cases of periodontitis.

To learn more about deep cleanings or to get scheduled for an appointment in our San Jose dental office, give us a call anytime at 408-478-9081.

For more informative dental blogs, check out our Blog page.


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