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Gum Diseases

Scaling & root planing `and/or` flap surgery?



Is it common to see a periodontist and on that first visit have deep scaling/root planing scheduled "and" flap surgery scheduled (which is to be done later)? Would it not be more common to have one or the other done and at least to have the results of the deep scaling/root planing assessed before scheduling the latter?

Also it seems that the process of the gums reattaching after the scaling/planing would be negated by in turn having them cut away for the flap surgery. Thank you very much for your thoughts on this matter.


Scaling and root planing is generally performed as initial therapy to reduce the amount of inflammation and eliminate some of the local factors causing periodontal disease. We generally wait for soft tissue healing for 4 to 12 weeks and evaluate residual pockets, then decide about surgery and what type of surgery. However, during the surgery we repeat scaling and root planing since we can see root surfaces and it is better to reach difficult areas. This is the routine practice. There are treatment modalities based on individual cases and needs.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University