Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical method used to both prevent and treat gum disease. Gum disease is an inflammation of your gum tissue caused by the build-up of harmful plaque, bacteria, and tartar at or below the gum line. This build-up can cause the gum tissue around your teeth to recede from it and for pockets to form below the gum line. These pockets can collect more of the harmful bacteria and plaque, further irritating the problem with potential for advanced stages that can result in tooth and bone loss.
What to Expect
Scaling and root planing is the process of cleaning between the gums all the way down to your teeth’s roots. The appointment will start out with a thorough examination of your mouth and the elimination of some bacteria and plaque with an ultrasonic tool. This tool removes tartar, biofilm, and plaque from your tooth’s surface and below the gum line. Depending on your sensitivity and the severity of the build up, we may use an anesthetic to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth.
Root planing is done after the removal of the plaque, tartar, and bacteria through scaling. It involves smoothing out the tooth’s root with a hand tool in order to allow for the gums to reattach to your tooth. Generally, the entire procedure can be done in one visit; however, depending on the advancement of the gum disease, it could take more. There should be little to no discomfort after planing and scaling occurs.
After scaling and root planing is done, we will discuss how to take care of and clean your teeth through proper brushing and flossing to reduce risk of the development of gum disease and other more dangerous conditions. In most cases, the inflamed gum tissue will become pink and firm again, the pockets will get smaller, and the bleeding will be minimized with potentially no further treatments necessary. If symptoms persist, it could be the signs of a more advanced periodontal condition that will require surgical intervention in order to stop the possible progression to bone loss.