Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

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Archive for October 2017

scaling and root planing effectiveness

Taking Advantage of Scaling and Root Planing Effectiveness

Dentists conduct root planing and scaling procedures to treat cases of gum disease before it can do significant damage to your oral health. Take a few minutes to learn why scaling and root planing is such an effective dental treatment.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing is essentially the deep cleaning of the area below the gum line to combat gum disease. Your dentist may recommend the procedure if your mouth shows early indications of gum disease.

What to Expect

Your dentist or dental hygienist may perform the cleaning. Depending on the condition of your mouth, it may take multiple visits to the dentist office for the procedure to be completed. During the scaling part of the cleaning, all of the traces of tartar, plaque, and bacterial toxins will be scaled from surfaces of your teeth and their roots. During the root planing portion of the procedure, the rough areas on the roots’ surfaces will be carefully smoothed away to make it more difficult for plaque, tartar, and bacteria to attach themselves beneath the gum line. This also allows the gums to reattach to the roots more firmly.

Is Root Planing Necessary?

Gums that are healthy will fit snugly around your teeth. However, if substances like bacteria, plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate under and around your gums, they can damage the tissues supporting your teeth, creating pockets around your teeth and an environment where gum disease can develop.

Scaling and root planing is the most effective non-surgical procedure a dentist can use to treat gum disease. If the disease is detected while it is in its early stages and has not yet damaged the structures below the gum line, a simple professional cleaning will suffice. However, if the pockets between your teeth and gums have grown too deep, a scaling and root planing will be necessary. According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the deep cleaning is particularly useful to patients who suffer from chronic periodontitis, or gum disease that has advanced past the gingivitis stage.

Your dentist may recommend that you undergo a scaling and root planing if either of the following conditions exists:

  • Your gums have begun to pull away from the teeth.
  • There is tartar present on the roots of your teeth.

Scaling and Root Planing Before And After

You will see and feel a marked difference in the conditions of your gums after you have undergone the procedure. The area that was treated may be sore to the touch for almost a week. Depending on how extensive the treatment was and the location in the mouth where the procedure was conducted, you may also experience bleeding, swelling and discomfort.

During a follow-up visit, your dentist will examine your gums to determine whether they are healing as they should be and will evaluate the condition of the pockets near the roots. If the pockets are getting smaller and the gum tissue has returned to pinkish color is adhering firmly to the roots of your teeth, no additional treatment may be necessary.

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invisalign pros cons

Understanding Invisalign Pros and Cons

You may stick to your daily brushing and flossing routines throughout childhood and life as a young adult, but you can still end up with alignment issues or gaps between your teeth once your teeth settle into their permanent positions. While children and tweens often require the specific benefits provided by traditional braces, Invisalign is often a better option for older teens and young adults. Decide between braces and Invisalign only after understanding the pros and cons of the modern treatment. Keep reading for the Invisalign pros and cons.

Does Invisalign Work Faster than Braces?

In most cases, using a set of custom fitted Invisalign retainers will result in faster alignment improvements than you can get from traditional metal or clear braces. However, there is a caveat to this benefit. Invisalign treatments are somewhat more limited in how much adjustment is possible, while traditional braces can do a surprising amount of alignment changes over the course of three to five years. If you only want straighter teeth or a little less crowding among your pre-molars, Invisalign is the faster option if you’re concerned about how long you’ll need to deal with the mild discomfort of reshaping your bite pattern, which is less uncomfortable than the discomfort of traditional braces.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

Traditional braces may need to remain in place for up to five years, and take a bare minimum of two years to achieve even basic improvements. In contrast, Invisalign makes subtle improvements to your smile within the first six months of treatment. For complete re-alignment, you can often complete treatment within 18 months to two years. A shorter treatment time allows you to get a straighter smile before a big event like a wedding or a career change. The shorter timeframe is also helpful if you’re concerned about living with a few dietary restrictions and some extra oral hygiene chores for longer than a couple of years.

What Does Invisalign Look Like?

One of the main reasons older patients choose Invisalign is because it’s hard to tell you’re wearing the nearly invisible treatment trays. They can be removed when you’re eating or brushing your teeth, allowing you to remove food residue without having to fight with your braces or deal with specialty picks and brushes. You can take your treatment devices off for up to six hours a day if your dentist approves it, giving you a break from the slight pressure required to reshape your smile.

Invisalign Problems

Not all Invisalign treatments are as removable as you might think. When advanced alignment changes are needed, the treatment retainers are attached to a few of the teeth with a non-permanent oral cement. You may also find that the trays are less than invisible if you wear them while drinking dark sodas, coffee, wine, and other staining drinks. Additionally, some people prefer not to take a retainer out and clean it before re-inserting it every time they want to enjoy food or drink. Braces come with more restrictions on what you can eat while wearing them, but they stay in place while you eat and don’t require the extra effort for removal and replacement.

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