If you have periodontal disease, scaling and/or root planing will likely be necessary to restore the health of your gums. These non-surgical procedures aim to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease.
We'll only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth.
Whether you’re a candidate for scaling and root planing will depend on:
When scaling is performed, the calculus and plaque attached to tooth surfaces are removed. The process primarily targets the area below the gum line, along the root.
Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.
Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. The tooth's root is smoothed, which promotes healing and helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, we may place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for us to remove plaque and tartar thoroughly. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.
If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits.
One is that they can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.
Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria can colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.
Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing and should eliminate bad breath caused by food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the services.
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Do you have any questions about what we can do for you? Would you like to book an appointment with our office? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re excited to speak with you!