Periodontal Treatment

...this is why we partner with our patients to safeguard their dental and gum health through a regular check-up and cleaning schedule. We understand how easily regular periodontal maintenance can get out of hand, so we are always here to help you take back control of your oral health. 

Periodontal treatment is a conservative and very effective form of treatment for gum disease, and is an essential component of not only oral healthcare, but also of a patient’s general long-term health and wellbeing. Receiving timely periodontal care is essential to slow down the process of gum disease once it has set in and thereby prevent eventual tooth loss down the line. Periodontal (gum) disease, known as gingivitis in the early stages, involves the build-up of plaque and calculus (tartar) underneath your gums. Once this build-up has formed, it is impossible to remove at home using standard toothbrushes or floss, and treatment by one of our highly qualified and experienced Dental Hygienists is required.  

Unlike a routine Scale and Polish treatment, which involves the removal of bacteria and plaque deposits from the surface of the teeth themselves, above the gumline – during Periodontal Treatment your hygienist will give your teeth a deep clean, removing all calculus and bacteria below the gum line. This aims to promote the reattachment of your gums and bone to the tooth again, as the invasive build-up of plaque and detritus will have loosened the affected area of gum’s hold on the teeth. This process is generally referred to as a Deep Periodontal Cleaning for this reason, although your hygienist will discuss the specific aspects of your cleaning that are required during your appointment with us, and it can also be referred to more specifically as Scaling and Root Debridement. 

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When is deep periodontal treatment needed?

Your dentist or hygienist will examine your gums at each routine visit to determine your gum health as part of your overall oral health check-up. They will advise you of whether or not Deep Periodontal treatment is advisable for you, although you can of course book a consultation with one of our dentists at any time, if you are experiencing any concerns related to your gum health. 

There are a number of noticeable symptoms and factors that can increase your need for periodontal treatment:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums, or bleeding during brushing or flossing
  • Missed dental appointments, including regular cleanings 
  • Smoking habits, particularly long-term sustained smoking 
  • Loose or separating teeth, or gums that are receding or ‘pulling away’
  • Mouth sores or persistent, bothersome bad breath
  • Family history of gum disease

Benefits of Deep Periodontal Cleaning

  • Greatly reduce your risk of medium to long-term tooth loss and maintain your unique smile by avoiding complex extractions and surgeries needed to replace your natural teeth
  • Prevent tooth loss and its impact on your everyday quality of life, including chewing and biting function, particularly of hard or chewy foods 
  • Deep cleaning freshens breath by eliminating halitosis-causing bacteria
  • Good gum health also preserves the bone in your jaw, maintaining your optimal facial aesthetics. Along with retaining your full, natural smile, this plays a significant part in conserving your youthful appearance
  • Protect your overall health by eliminating harmful bacteria from your mouth, reducing the risk of infection silently spreading to other parts of your body

A key commitment of Dame Street Dental is our promise to not only provide quality family dental care, but to also ensure our patients are educated and informed on how to maintain the health of your gums. Healthy gums are not only essential to preserve your smile, but unhealthy gums can affect your overall health. You can trust that our professionals at Dame Street Dental are equipped to help you protect your gums as well as treat gums that are diseased or infected quickly and effectively. 


What to Expect When Getting Periodontal Treatment

Initial consultation 

Your dentist or hygienist will carry out a full, comprehensive examination to determine the health of your teeth and gums, which will often include taking an X-ray to assess the severity of any gum disease evidenced by your exam. Signs or symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding caused by home brushing, or a feeling of ‘looseness’ of certain teeth, can at times be easily noticed by patients, or your gum disease may be an incidental finding of your dentist during your regular Dental Exam and Check Up.

In either case your dentist will discuss the situation with you, addressing any concerns you have, including an evaluation of any contributing health factors to the scale of the gum disease. Out of this assessment a treatment plan will be put together for you to address your specific needs and get the disease under control. If it is determined by your dentist that a Periodontal Deep Cleaning (Root Debridement treatment) is necessary, an appointment will be scheduled for you before you leave the clinic, or it may even be possible to book your first appointment for the same day, subject to our Hygienist’s availability. 

Root debridement and periodontal deep cleaning

This treatment will be carried out by your dental hygienist, and the number of visits you will require is dependent on the extent of your condition – if your gingivitis is localised to just one part of your mouth, treatment can be carried out successfully in just that area. However, if the gingivitis or gum disease has spread more generally around your mouth, the hygienist will typically need to carry out your treatment in sections, and this is usually completed over two visits. If your care provider schedules you in for a second visit after your first cleaning, it is vital to attend for this second appointment, otherwise the treatment and halting of your gum disease will not be complete. 

At the beginning of your appointment, your hygienist will numb your gums with a highly effective local anaesthetic, making sure that the procedure is entirely pain-free. While some increased sensitivity following your appointment is quite common – particularly to the sensations of cold and hot – this will usually decrease on its own over the course of a week or so, and can be managed very effectively at home through the use of toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. 

Once numbed, any bacteria, plaque and calculus will be removed from under your gumline in a process known as Root Debridement, using our high-tech ultrasonic scaler and other intricate hand instruments. The ultrasonic scaler uses high frequency vibrations along with a concentrated stream of water to effectively and painlessly remove any deposits.

To maximise your response to this deep cleaning periodontal treatment and your long-term results, it is essential to implement a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine. Following your procedure, your hygienist will take time to advise you on the techniques and instruments best suited to your teeth, and taking into account any concerns, contributing factors, or difficulties you share with them, to keep your gum disease at bay and under control, and prevent the reformation of bacteria, plaque, and calculus build-up. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene and preventing further progression of gingivitis or gum disease, also involves keeping to a regular Dental Check-Up and hygienist cleaning schedule, and you will be advised of when you should next make an appointment to return to the clinic for a follow-up cleaning and monitoring visit. 

Questions? Answers.

What is Periodontal disease?

Periodontal or gum disease is a very common oral disease. Gum disease first presents as gingivitis, a condition where the gums become red and bleed easily on contact. The condition at this stage is relatively easy to reverse simply by implementing a better home oral hygiene routine and by attending your dental hygienist for a Scale and Polish cleaning treatment.

If left untreated, however, gingivitis will progress into full-blown periodontal disease, a far more severe condition, which, although its progression can be halted or slowed down with Deep Periodontal Cleaning or Root Debridement treatment, cannot be reversed. 

With periodontal disease, bacteria will begin to infect the bone and other tissues which support the teeth, leading to the receding of the gums, more frequent infections and toothache, and teeth becoming looser, and if treatment is still not sought, resulting in eventual loss of these damaged teeth altogether.  

How often do I need to have Deep Periodontal treatment?

This will vary for every patient, and depends on the severity of your gum disease, any contributing health or medical history factors, and on your overall oral hygiene. 

The majority of patients require cleanings at least twice per year, but your dentist or hygienist may recommend more frequent cleanings at 3 monthly intervals. Whatever cleaning schedule is advised following your dentist’s and hygienist’s assessment of your teeth and gums, it is really important to attend your visits following your initial treatment. Periodontal disease can absolutely be controlled and the progression of the disease enormously slowed down or even halted by timely, effective treatment, however it cannot be fully eradicated, and gum disease always has the ability to progress if not properly monitored and kept on top of.  

Following your first Periodontal treatment, at home you should follow the aftercare and maintenance instructions given to you by your dental hygienist:

  • Brush twice per day 
  • Floss every day to reach areas that your toothbrush can’t access
  • If you notice bleeding of your gums when you floss or brush you should attend your dentist, as this is one of the first and most obvious signs of gum disease
What is the difference between a Scale and Polish treatment and Deep Periodontal cleaning?

Both treatments involve the removal of plaque and calculus deposits from your teeth.

In a regular Scale and Polish cleaning, these deposits are removed by a dental hygienist from above the gum level. This is carried out mainly as a preventative treatment to offset future development of disease, or to reverse gingivitis, or finally, as a regular maintenance treatment in patients with diagnosed periodontal disease who have already completed Deep Periodontal Cleaning. 

While a Deep Periodontal clean or Root Debridement is carried out to remove deposits from both above and below the gum level, in patients with mild, moderate or advanced periodontal disease to prevent and hopefully halt its progression. Once it has been identified, patients with periodontal disease will often require at least two deep cleanings per year, to keep the condition in check. 

Can I brush my teeth after a deep cleaning?

Yes, you can brush your teeth as normal and keep to a regular twice daily schedule after your treatment. However your gums may be slightly tender for a week or so, and so it is recommended to brush very gently at first, using a soft bristled toothbrush. You should also floss your teeth daily from the day of your treatment appointment. 

By establishing and maintaining an effective and consistent oral hygiene regime right from the start, there is less chance for plaque and bacteria to build-up and attack the same areas again, promoting healing of your gums and reducing inflammation in the long-term. 

Is Periodontal Deep Cleaning / Root Debridement painful?

No, we use a highly effective local anaesthetic to numb your gums before the procedure begins, to ensure that your treatment is entirely painless.

It is possible to experience some discomfort after treatment, often for roughly 2 to 3 days, sometimes up to a full week in more severe cases. However this can effectively be managed with over-the-counter pain relief medication and other pain relief measures, as advised by your dentist or hygienist at your treatment appointment. 

Are there any side effects after root debridement treatment?

It is quite common to experience some mild recession of your gums after periodontal treatment - this is entirely normal and a sign of your gums healing. 

Some patients report an increase in tooth sensitivity which can be effectively managed with toothpaste for sensitive teeth. 

In some less common cases, patients may feel their teeth feel slightly looser after treatment. This occurs in more severe stages of disease when the calculus or tartar is holding the teeth in place - this is not a healthy state for your teeth and gums and so the calculus is best removed. In most cases the feeling of looseness will fade after a few days as you become used to it. 

How much does Deep Periodontal Cleaning cost?

At Dame Street Dental, Deep Cleaning or Root Debridement with a Dental Hygienist begins at €90 to €160, and the total cost will depend on the number of visits and the appointment length in each case. 

We are delighted to offer several different payment plans to suit all patients’ needs and lifestyles. Your dentist will prepare a full treatment plan with you during your initial consultation, including a breakdown of the total cost if multiple treatments are advised, which our experienced team will readily go through with you to help you choose the right plan for you. 

Concerned about symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease, or feel it’s been too long since your last Dental Check-Up and Cleaning? 

Call us today on Dame Street Dental or use the online booking form below to schedule an appointment