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What Does My Periodontist Mean With Debridement?

Posted on 8/15/2016 by Todd Jorgenson
An elderly woman about to receive a root surface debridement procedure.You may have heard your dentist or periodontist say that you need a Root Surface Debridement procedure. In medicine, debridement refers to the removal of damaged or dead tissue from around an open wound. Removing this tissue will promote healing and reduce the time needed to heal. In dentistry, debridement refers to the removal of excessive tartar, plaque or calculus.

Technically, these materials are not living tissue, but is filled with tons of decay causing living bacteria that feeds on your teeth and gums, causing caries and gum disease.

Root surface debridement is the primary treatment for the professional care and management of chronic periodontitis.

How does the dentist remove plaque through debridement?

Debridement is not the same as a dental cleaning, it is so much more. A dental cleaning is preventative dental maintenance. Debridement is a restorative dental procedure to restore your teeth to health. In most cases of chronic periodontitis, debridement needs to be done just for the dentist to examine the teeth and assess the level of decay.

To remove plaque, tartar and calculus, your periodontist will use either hand tools or an aerated ultrasonic device, most likely both. Using pulsating bubbles, we remove the hardened material from the surface of your teeth and along the rim between the tooth and gums. For some patients, this may be an uncomfortable process, anesthesia is available if needed. Once all of the material appears to be gone, using a hand scraper, we will check for any remaining bits.

It is after the debridement process that we can examine and assess the level of decay and what other restorative works is needed. The health of your teeth matters, it matters to how you feel about yourself, it matters to your happiness, and it can even matter to your overall health.

Please contact us if you have any questions about a root surface debridement procedure.

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