Scaling and root planing are procedures performed to remove plaque and tartar (calculus) which are causing inflammation to the gum tissue and the surrounding bone. These are non-surgical procedures which cleanse the tissues that surround and support the teeth. They are very effective in fighting gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) and periodontal disease before they become severe.
Reasons for scaling and root planing
Disease prevention: The bacteria that causes periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Heart disease and lung infections have been linked to periodontal bacteria. Removal of the bacteria will stop periodontal disease from progressing and prevent the bacteria from spreading.
Tooth protection: There is a greater risk of periodontal disease when the depth of gum pockets is greater than 3mm. Deeper pockets contain colonies of dangerous bacteria. Eventually inflammation will begin to destroy gum and bone tissue, which can lead to tooth loss.
Better breath: A very common sign of gum disease is bad breath (halitosis). The bad odor caused by bacteria and food particles can be alleviated with procedures such as scaling and root planing.
Better appearance: Scaling and root planing remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gumline. This procedure also removes any superficial stains that exist on the teeth.
Scaling and root planing procedures
After a thorough visual exam and evaluation of x-rays, Dr Yash will diagnose the extent of periodontal disease before recommending scaling and root planing. Depending on the amount of tartar, the depth of the pockets, and the condition of the gums, a local anesthetic may be used.
Scaling: This is performed by an ultrasonic scaling instrument which removes tartar and plaque from the tooth and root surfaces.
Root planing: This procedure removes bacteria, toxins, and tartar from the roots of the tooth. Then the root surface is smoothed in order to prevent bacteria from accumulating and to promote healing.
In either of these procedures, an antimicrobial agent may be applied below the gums that will help to eliminate bacteria, soothe irritation and help the gum tissues to heal.
Scaling and root planing work very well to stop gum disease. If good dental hygiene is practiced following these procedures, the gums will heal and return to a firm and pink condition.
If you have any questions or concerns about scaling and root planing, please call or contact our office.