Scaling and Root Planing

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can affect the supporting bone around your teeth. If you have gum disease, your gums will recede from your teeth, and small pockets will form around the teeth that can be a beacon for bacteria, plaque and calculus. These pockets of bacteria form when teeth and gums have been neglected. Regular cleanings often do not take care of these deep pockets; therefore, a deeper cleaning is needed. Dental scaling is the most common non-surgical procedure to treat gum disease.

A scaling and root planing procedure is done by a licensed hygienist in our office and involves cleaning out these gingival pockets to allow your gums to reconnect to your teeth. This type of cleaning is specific to those who have gum infection and inflammation, or those who have heavy tartar buildup.

Why do you need Scaling and Root Planing?

If you have gum disease or heavy calculus buildup on the teeth, it will probably be recommended that you get a scaling and root planing done. The procedure is performed right in our office and is done relatively quickly. You can think of a scaling and root planing as a deeper dental cleaning than you would typically receive. Some of the reasons you may need a scaling and root planing include:

  • You have periodontal disease or gingivitis
  • You have heavy tartar and calculus buildup on your teeth

A thorough examination will be conducted to determine if you would benefit from a scaling and root planing procedure. Your gum pockets will be measured to check for signs of gingivitis and gum disease. We will ask you when your last dental cleaning was to determine if the buildup present can be removed with a regular cleaning. We will then provide recommendations on which dental cleaning is best suited to your needs.

What happens during the procedure for Scaling and Root Planing?

Because the cleaning goes deeper underneath the gum line, you may need to come into the office for two consecutive visits. For each visit, one side of the mouth is numbed and the teeth in that area are cleaned with special instruments. The Scaling part of the procedure involves removing plaque and debris from these gum pockets. The hygienist will clean in and around your gumline to remove all built up bacteria and plaque. Once the deep cleaning has occurred, the root planing part of the procedure happens. This is when the hygienist will smooth the root surfaces which will allow the gums to properly reconnect and attach to your gums. Regular scaling and root planings help to prevent the progression of gum disease and to keep the teeth healthy. If you have periodontal disease, it is imperative that you come in for regular deep cleanings.

If you think you might need scaling and root planing or are interested in learning more about this procedure, contact our office today so that we can better assist you.