A Closer Look at Root Planing and Scaling
Center for Beautiful Smiles recommends routine cleanings for your teeth every six months or so. Professional cleaning generally involves:
- Scaling teeth
- Scaling the gumline
- Removal of plaque and tartar
- Polishing to remove stains
- Smoothing of the tooth’s surface
All of this is done with the primary objective of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. If you have symptoms of gum disease, however, you may need another type of cleaning, called scaling and root planing.
When Do We Recommend Scaling and Root Planing?
Routine cleanings prevent periodontal disease, and scaling and root planing is a non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure that treats the onset of periodontal disease. This deep cleaning procedure is considered the “gold standard” when it comes to treatment for patients who live with chronic periodontitis, stated by the Journal of Evidenced-Based Dental Practice.
Healthy Gum Tissue
Healthy gum tissue fits tightly and snugly around each tooth. Suggested measurement from top of the gumline to where the gums attach to the tooth should only be about 1 to 3 millimeters in depth. Deeper pockets form when bacterial plaque and tartar accumulate. Tissues supporting your teeth may also be affected.
More advanced signs of gum disease include:
- Bad breath
- Heavy tartar buildup
- Unhealthy pocket depths of 4mm or more
In such cases we recommend a scaling and root planing procedure as the first measure taken to treat gum disease.
The Scaling and Root Planing Procedure Itself
The procedure may take more than one appointment to achieve optimum results. Local anesthetic is often used to minimize discomfort and to ensure patient satisfaction. Scaling and root planing is similar to having an irritating splinter removed from an in infected area. Scaling all plaque is crucial, as well as treating bacterial toxins and tartar deposits from tooth and root surfaces.
Root planing smoothes all rough areas on tooth root surfaces which keep bacteria, plaque and tartar from re-depositing underneath the gumline. From there, we allow your gums to heal, reattaching themselves more firmly through the body’s own healing processes.
We’ll give you all the follow-up care you need. We’ll check up on the healing process of your gums and tooth pocket status. Red or swollen gum tissue will get firm and turn pink again, and bleeding will reduce and be eliminated as pockets shrink in size. As gum tissue responds and stabilizes, you will need less and less care.
More advanced periodontal conditions will require further surgical interventions after root planing and scaling as a measure to prevent bone loss progression. Scaling and root planing treatment often minimizes amount of surgery needed.
Don’t let periodontal disease sneak up on you, because it will rear it’s unsightly head without warning. The American Dental Association (ADA) urges you to follow through with your scheduled biannual dental checkups and examinations. Good home care routines are crucial to gum disease prevention. Keeping your mouth healthy after any type of oral treatment will ensure that you continue to enjoy lasting results. Often a scaling and root planning serves as the catalyst for patients to live lives of better oral health. Be sure to:
- Brush twice a daily with effective fluoride toothpaste.
- Replace brushes when bristles wear down.
- Floss twice daily to clean between the teeth (also bridge work, crowns and dental implants).
- Use antimicrobial mouthwash.
- Quit smoking if you’re a smoker.
Whether you’ve heard it referred to as a deep cleaning or a root planing and scaling, this conservative, preventative procedure plays a vital role in treating periodontal disease of varying degrees. If you believe you would benefit from a scaling and root planing procedure, schedule your initial consultation with Center for Beautiful Smiles today!