Scaling and Root Planing

If plaque and tartar is left on the teeth, as we mentioned before, it provides the right conditions for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria irritate the gums and causing gums to bleed more easily. This is the early stage of periodontal/gum called gingivitis

initial stage of treatment and the most effective ways to treat periodontal disease before it becomes severe is root planing or scaling. The objective of scaling & root planning is a non-surgical procedures to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus which cause inflammation and disease to the gingival (gum) tissue, the teeth down to the roots and surrounding bone. Local anesthetic to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth might be required.

Scaling and root planing can be used both as a preventative measure and as a stand-alone treatment.

Scaling – Using a special dental instruments and may include an ultrasonic scaling tool to removes calculus and plaque from the surface of the crown and root surfaces. Mostly the scaling tool includes an irrigation process to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums which shall help reduce oral bacteria.

Root Planing – A specific treatment which often requires local anesthetic to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed in order to promote good healing. Having clean, smooth root surfaces helps bacteria from easily colonizing in future.

Why scaling and root planning is necessary:

  • Disease prevention – The oral bacteria which cause periodontal infections can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body and later might cause lung infections and heart disease if left untreated.
  • Tooth protection – When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, there is a greater risk of periodontal disease as it becomes the home of more colonies of dangerous bacteria. Eventually, a chronic inflammatory response by the body begins to destroy gingival and bone tissue which may lead to tooth loss.
  • Aesthetic effects – Scaling and root planing help remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gum line.
  • Better breath – Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odor in the oral cavity, hence halitosis (bad breath) which is alleviated with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing.

On your next visit, our periodontist will thoroughly examine the gums again to see how well the pockets have healed. If the gum pockets still measure more than 3mm in depth, additional and more intensive treatments may be recommended.

Call us for your consultation on scaling and root planing, or periodontal disease!