Scaling and Root Planing Post-Operative Instructions

  • Scaling and root planing (also known as a “deep cleaning”) is a non- surgical treatment of periodontal disease. The purpose of the treatment is to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from around teeth and under the gum line. The goal is to produce clean, smooth teeth and roots, which will promote healing of the inflammation caused by periodontal disease.
  • After scaling and root planing, avoid eating anything 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 anything with small 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. Mouth rinse can also be used, but avoid rinses that contain alcohol.
  • Resume your home care regimen immediately, but be gentle. An electric toothbrush such as a Sonicare or an Oral B 5000 is HIGHLY recommended to ensure better home care.
  • Refrain from smoking for 24 to 48 hours after scaling and root planing as tobacco will delay healing of the tissues. Smoking cessation is your best option. Periodontal disease will be more active and harder to control if you are smoking.
  • You may take a non-aspirin pain reliever for any tenderness or discomfort. Take ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol as needed unless you are allergic or have medical conditions that prevent taking these medications.
  • If you have persistent discomfort or swelling that occurs after scaling and root
    planing, contact the office for instructions as soon as possible.