Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

How Do Post-Procedure Medications Help Patients After Scaling And Root Planing?

by Charlotte Beck

Scaling and root planing (SRP) is the gold standard for people with periodontitis, or gum disease. During SRP, your dentist will remove tartar and any infection below the gum line; he or she will also smooth tooth roots so that gum tissue can more easily reattach around the bases of your teeth. While SRP can help many patients, it's not always successful on its own. Sometimes gum tissue doesn't heal enough, so a patient may need adjunctive treatments or surgery to prevent bacteria from re-infecting gum pockets. If you are planning to have SRP done and want to reduce the risk of repeat infections, you may want to talk with your dentist about post-procedure medications.

How Do These Medications Work? 

Some medications are placed directly into your gum pockets after SRP. Medications placed directly into gum pockets are usually made up of antibiotics which are contained in biodegradable microspheres that contain antibiotics. Your dentist will slide a syringe into a gum pocket, which then deposits the medication. What's great about these microspheres is that they slowly break down over time, so the medication works for a longer period of time even though only one dose is placed in the gum pockets.

If a patient isn't interested in microspheres or isn't a good candidate for that type of medication, he or she might want to try customized trays. To make a tray, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth and send that mold to a dental laboratory. The lab will make your trays, usually out of plastic, and send those back to your dentist's office. After Your SRP, your dentist will send the trays home with you and prescribe a medicated gel that will sit in the tray. If you've ever whitened your teeth, this is a very similar process, except you will be using a mediation application rather than a bleaching agent. You may only need to wear the trays for a short period of time each day to see improvements.  

What Do Studies Say About Periodontal Medications?

The Journal of the International Academy of Periodontology reported a study that looked at microspheres for a medication called Arestin. This study found that when patients used antibiotic spheres after their SRP treatment, they tended to see more gingival attachment and greater reductions in gum probing depth. Dentistry IQ reported similar gum pocket improvements with customized trays. These customized trays were also able to help people who weren't seeing results from SRP and/or localized antibiotic therapies.

Reach out to your dentist today to learn more about therapies that can help you treat periodontal disease.


About Me

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

As a homeschool parent and independent contractor, I don't always have time to practice good dental care. I often find myself in a rush just to meet my daily tasks and goals. My lack of good dental care eventually caught up with me. After experiencing severe pain in my back tooth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist found a large hole in the center of the tooth. Root canal treatment couldn't save the tooth, so my dentist extracted it. I learned a very painful and valuable lesson that day. No matter how hectic my life is, I should still make time to brush and floss my teeth properly. I'm here to help you and other people avoid painful dental problems with my blog. I offer tips on how to keep your teeth clean and how to spot dental problems before they get out of control. Good luck.