Scaling and root planing is a more extensive type of cleaning that requires cleaning below the surfaces of your gum tissue where a more than normal amount of bacteria or plaque resides. When bacteria proliferates below the gum tissue, it causes inflammation, boneloss and is called Periodontal disease or “gum disease”. When periodontal disease develops, periodontal ligaments (what holds onto a tooth) start to detach from the tooth and “pockets” form around the tooth or teeth. This pocketing is nearly impossible to keep clean with brushing and flossing alone, so a procedure called scaling and root planing will be needed.
WHY WOULD A SCALING AND ROOT PLANING BE NECESSARY?
Most patients who have periodontal disease will usually need to have the scaling and root planning. Periodontal disease left untreated can lead to both bone and tooth loss. In order to keep the condition from getting worse, a “deep cleaning” can be performed easily in our office. This allows the gum tissue to heal and “breath” so that the periodontal disease does not get worse, which can lead to decreased bone and eventual loss of teeth.
WHO WOULD NEED A SCALING AND ROOT PLANING?
Gum disease is often characterized by bleeding gums, swelling, persistent halitosis and even gum recession. However, in order to identify areas of disease, we will use a measuring probe that measures the depth of the “pocketing” that has occurred. If the gingival pocketing is deeper than about 3 to 4mm, we will recommend that you have a scaling and root planing performed.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE SCALING AND ROOT PLANING PROCESS?
During Root Planing and Scaling, we will help you get numb with local anesthetic. This will aid in making the cleaning more comfortable. Our hygienist then uses hand scalers and a device called a cavitron to help clear away buildup from above and below the gumline. The roots of the teeth will then be smoothed to allow the tissue to heal properly. Once treatment is completed for the root planning and scaling, we will set up a return visit in 6-8 weeks to do a re-evaluation of the tissue and do a “fine tune” cleaning. From this point on, your hygienist and dentist will work extensively with you to get a good regimen for re-care to help prevent the further progression of the periodontal disease.
If you’d like to learn about scaling and root planing cleanings, call us today to talk with our friendly staff members for more information.