If a dentist or dental hygienist has recommended that a patient have a dental debridement, there’s probably a reason. Words like gum disease and below the gumline can leave patients feeling nervous or apprehensive about the process. The main reason a dental professional recommends a debridement is to stop gum disease before it progresses. For many reasons, gum disease is harmful to a person’s health. Not only can it lead to significant oral problems, but it can affect a person’s overall health, as well.
If left untreated, patients could continue to suffer from gum disease, including bone and tooth loss. If significant bone loss occurs, it may be impossible to have implants or more extensive dental work to restore a person’s smile. To help alleviate fears and provide patients with education about the process, it’s important to talk about what happens after the procedure.
What’s Dental Debridement?
Dental debridement is the first step to restoring oral health for a patient. During this procedure, a hygienist will clean a tooth’s roots above and below the gum line. It’s important to think of the cleaning process as a more intense routine cleaning. Using dental tools above and below the gum line is what makes many patients uncomfortable, but the professionals at Central Periodontics will do their best to make patients comfortable and help them feel safe.
The hygienist will remove dense deposits of plaque, including any calcified tooth tartar. The goal is to break up the plaque and tartar. For most patients, the process requires a few treatments every four to six weeks until teeth are clear of build-up.
When is dental debridement needed?
Usually, dental debridement is discussed during a routine cleaning. Most dentists recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned every six months. If a patient has not received dental care in more than a year or is suffering from symptoms of gum disease, the procedure may be recommended. Common signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Changes in taste
- Bad breath
- Loss of bone
- Loose or moving teeth
- Hypersensitive teeth
- Receding Gums
What Happens After a Dental Debridement?
As mentioned above, a dental debridement may take several appointments to complete the process. On average, most patients will have the procedure repeated at least twice. When the first appointment is completed, a hygienist will spend time teaching the patient how to brush his or her teeth properly. Proper brushing technique after a dental debridement includes:
- Brushing twice a day
- Brushing for two minutes a day
- Flossing at least once a day
Debridement appointments will usually be scheduled for at least four to six weeks apart. After the procedure, a patient may experience some soreness or bleeding due to the gum readhering. Usually, the discomfort will only last a day or two.
The best way to stop or slow down the process of gum disease is to work hand and hand with dental professionals. Routine dental care and following through with the treatment plan allows patients to restore their oral care, brighten their smile, and lengthen the life of their natural teeth.