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By Joy Raskie RDH - September 27, 2021

Sulcular Debridement

Providing patients with innovative and beneficial procedures using the latest technology and training in the dental industry is an excellent way to help patients keep their teeth and gums healthier. Using lasers and special techniques to target bacteria, Sulcular Debridement is a safe and effective procedure designed to remove diseased, necrotic tissue from periodontal pockets.

What Is Sulcular Debridement?

Sulcular Debridement is an advanced procedure performed by dental hygienists using a particular laser to target the harmful bacteria found in periodontal pockets. It involves the removal of diseased tissue from within the pockets to promote healing, stop gingival bleeding, and eliminate chronic bad breath caused by gingivitis and extensive periodontal disease.

Who Is a Good Candidate for the Procedure?

Many patients can benefit from Sulcular Debridement. This minimally invasive procedure is helpful for the following scenarios in the dental office:

      1. Treating patients with early stages of periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis that leads to irritation and swelling.

      2. Treating patients with chronic gingivitis development, including swelling and bleeding of the gums, to put a stop to the harmful bacteria to keep it from spreading throughout the mouth and becoming more severe.

     3. Treating patients with moderate to advanced periodontal disease to stop the disease process and encourage healing for pocket depth improvement

Sulcular Debridement is an incredible procedure performed using advanced lasers. It works to prevent gum disease, periodontal disease and inflammation from spreading throughout the mouth by stimulating the long-junctional epithelium to attach to the tooth structure to heal periodontal pockets. This in turn creates a healthier mouth.  

How Does a Dental Hygienist Perform Sulcular Debridement?

Sulcular Debridement is a laser gum procedure that dental hygienists can perform on deeper, more diseased periodontal pockets. After the teeth have been debrided of plaque and calculus, the laser is used to collect and remove the diseased tissue within the periodontal pocket. The thin, small laser fiber fits with ease to get into the periodontal pocket and target the infection-causing bacteria, treating it directly at the source.

While targeting the area, the dental hygienist must use swift yet careful movements to remove any bacteria in that particular pocket, making sure to hold the laser away from the tooth. The dental hygienist may perform this process on multiple areas of the mouth or one specific periodontal pocket with the most inflammation.

Because it's a non-invasive procedure, many times topical anesthesia is all that is needed to gently numb the area. Although it can leave gums slightly tender, the laser treatment isn't painful and is a procedure you can use as an add-on service during gingival therapy, maintenance, or non-surgical therapy appointments. 

Who Can Complete Sulcular Debridement?

Although doctors can perform Sulcular Debridement if they see a patient suffering from an inflamed pocket during a restorative appointment, the procedure is commonly performed by dental hygienists treating periodontal disease during hygiene visits. It's the perfect procedure to add to the list of services offered in the dental office. When already working on a tooth with an inflamed pocket, adding this procedure to the list of services will benefit the patient even more.

How Does the Procedure Help Patients?

The procedure helps patients by removing the bacteria from gum pockets, stimulating healing, and improving gingival bleeding. Sulcular Debridement decontaminates the gum pocket making it harder for bacteria to re-attack between visits. It helps improve attachment levels and probing depths making it easier for the patient to perform their daily home care routine. It improves numerous clinical indices, including the gingival index and gingival bleeding index. This non-invasive procedure causes minimal discomfort while removing the harmful bacteria, leaving the patient's gums in far better condition than before.

Is Training Necessary to Complete the Sulcular Debridement?

Before providing Sulcular Debridement in the office, it's vital to receive proper training to understand the process and how it works. Hands-on training encourages dental hygienists to get a proper feel for handling the laser in a patient's mouth to avoid hurting them throughout the procedure. The training provides professionals with the latest information and tips on handling the laser safely and efficiently to remove bacteria from the periodontal pockets and instills confidence in performing the procedure. The dental hygienist should have the laser readily available in the office to have easy access to it during routine appointments with patients, especially when planning to use it as an add-on service for patients who can benefit from the procedure.

When Is It Best to Perform Sulcular Debridement?

Patients won't need to schedule a surgical appointment for the procedure. With that in mind, the best time to perform this non-invasive procedure is during more advanced gum therapy appointments. This is where the patient is experiencing more gingival bleeding and deeper gum pocketing. Before getting started with the laser, the dental hygienist can perform the typical deep cleaning that involves using an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments on the teeth before going in with the laser to target the infection-causing bacteria within the periodontal pockets. When patients complain about bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, and other common signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease, it's the best time to offer this laser-focused treatment. It targets the underlying cause of these common issues and stops them.

The Advantages of Offering Sulcular Debridement in the Office

There are several advantages of offering this innovative procedure in the dental office. The primary benefits include:

      1. Prevention of bad breath for those struggling with chronic bad breath despite brushing and flossing.

      2. Lower the risk of tooth and bone loss by keeping gums healthier and in the best condition.

      3. It is a minimally invasive, painless procedure.

      4. Prevention of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Sulcular Debridement allows dental hygienists to clean periodontal pockets and prevent the disease from spreading, getting worse, and causing numerous severe and extensive oral health problems for patients.

Due to the ease of use, convenience, and benefits of the Sulcular Debridement procedure, dental hygienists should consider adding a laser to their operatory and undergoing the hands-on training needed to receive their laser certification. After experiencing the valuable training and earning the certification, hygienists may then offer this procedure as an add-on service to help patients with their concerns. 

Joy Raskie RDH

Keywords: Laser, Sulcular Debridement, Dental Hygienist.





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