Scaling and Root Planning


Teeth scaling, along with root planning, are designed to treat chronic periodontal (gum) disease. They pose as more in-depth alternatives to traditional teeth cleaning methods, and thoroughly penetrate the hard-to-reach crevasses of the gumline.

Is It Suitable for Me?

If your gums are struggling with a serious infection, particularly the advanced stage of gum disease, referred to as periodontitis, you may be the perfect candidate for these treatments.

Scaling and root planning can eradicate the harmful effects of gum disease, while also giving space for a healthier and cleaner oral environment in the immediate future.

Chronic periodontal disease isn’t pleasant, and it occurs when bacteria and built-up plaque erode your gums, causing them to recede away from the teeth. This may lead to large pockets taking form in the space between the teeth and gums; giving credence to more bacteria and being impossible to clean with a mere toothbrush at home.

If you require teeth scaling and root planning, it means your oral anatomy has reached a dangerous point.

Remember, serious gum disease can typically be completely avoided if adequate dental care habits remain consistent. This includes brushing twice a day, especially after meals, and flossing at least daily! Flossing removes bacteria buildup from elusive crevasses between the teeth and gums and is your strongest boon to ward off gum disease. 

Periodontal disease can lead to painful symptoms limiting your quality of life, such as;

  • Bone, tissue, and tooth loss.
  • Inflamed, swollen, or red gums.
  • Unstable or loose teeth.
  • Receding gums.
  • Bad breath.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • A severe hindrance to chewing food.

And not to mention, the longer it remains untreated, the more it has the potential to spread across new areas of your smile.

The Procedure Timeline

Since these are demanding practices, they usually occur within more than a visit to the dentist’s office. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease being treated, your dentist may administer a local anesthetic to help numb the area. The severity of your situation will dictate if you require a second appointment to fully complete the process.

Modern dental tools specifically designed for this treatment are used throughout the process, including a curette and scaler. There are also more sophisticated tools available if the situation demands, including lasers and ultrasonic devices.

The initial portion of the procedure consists of teeth scaling. Where your dentist will scrape the plaque and tartar away from your teeth; including excavating any bacteria buildup which may have formed into the previously stated pockets which can develop between the teeth and gums.

Afterward is where the root planning phase unfolds. Your dentist will smooth the tooth roots utilizing a specialized scaling tool. This process assists your newly cleaned gums in reattaching to your teeth.

The Aftermath

Depending on the state of your teeth and gums, your dentist may recommend additional treatment options. This can take the form of antimicrobial agents being administered into your mouth or the prescription of oral antibiotics for the coming days, easing the healing journey ahead.

Host modulation therapy may also be recommended afterward. In which more medication is delivered into the gums, minimizing the damage of periodontal disease and stabilizing the sensitive tissue. This is a quickly advancing phenomenon  and has proven to limit the long-term effects of having periodontitis- intending to restore the former integrity of the smile as much as possible. It also reduces your chances of post-procedure infection resurfacing.

If the previously cleaned out pockets don’t seem to be disappearing, your dentist may recommend a follow-up procedure.

Remember to be gracious to your teeth and gums following this procedure, and take all the advice from your dental professional. Not only is scaling and root planning a demanding endeavor, but the implications of serious gum disease that led you to the dentist in the first place have also definitely taken a toll on your oral health. It’s crucial to exercise a robust oral care routine; brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. As well as consuming a healthy and balanced diet, and avoiding dangerous habits which damage the integrity of your smile, such as smoking.    

If scaling and root planning sounds like it may be your saving grace, please book an appointment with us immediately. Cleansing any gum disease and restoring your smile to its optimal state is something we take great pride in!

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