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Prophy vs. SC/RP (scaling and root planing)

What is the difference between prophylaxis and scaling and root planing? And is root planing only done on perio patients?



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2 Answers

By definition a prophy (D1110) is, “Removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures in the permanent and transitional dentition. It is intended to control local irritational factors.” It is preventive in nature, for a patient with healthy gingiva and pocket depths.
 
Non-surgical periodontal therapy (SRP) (D4341/D4342): “This procedure involves instrumentation of the crown and root surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque and calculus from these surfaces. It is indicated for patients with periodontal disease and is therapeutic, not prophylactic, in nature. Root planing is the definitive procedure designed for the removal of cementum and dentin that is rough, and/or permeated by calculus or contaminated with toxins or microorganisms. Some soft tissue removal occurs. This procedure may be used as a definitive treatment in some stages of periodontal disease and/or as a part of pre-surgical procedures in others.” This is for patients who have active periodontitis with clinical attachment loss (bone loss, recession, furcations, etc.), the key work here being “active.”
 
Don’t hesitate to pull out your Wilkins book or any perio books you may have and even talk with your instructors to clarify and understand better. Use your instructors while you have them! Also, don’t forget about your ability to research; Google searches can bring up great information, just make sure you find reliable sources. Here are two links that you might find helpful:
http://jdh.adha.org/content/82/suppl_2/16.full.pdf
http://www.drotterholt.com/pseudopockets.html

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Prophy- Part of your dental checkup and it is a polishing procedure that is used to remove plaque and stains.

SC/RP- Non-surgical periodontal therapy and it is deep cleaning by removing plaque, calculus.

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