What is a Scaling and Root Planing?

A scaling and root planing is sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, and it’s sole purpose is to clean around and underneath the gums of patients who have periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease can occur for a variety of reasons, but it is defined as a separation between the gums themselves and the teeth. This causes craters, known as pockets, to form around the teeth. It is nearly impossible to clean these gingival pockets on your own without the help of a scaling and root planing.

Why would a Scaling and Root Planing be needed?

The reason you’d need this type of cleaning is because you have gum disease to some extent. The gingival pockets can continue to get bigger and deeper the more that the disease progresses. This particular cleaning helps to clear out these pockets of any debris, plaque and tartar so that the gums can heal. This prevents the disease from progressing to the point that tooth and bone loss occur.

What makes you a candidate for a Scaling and Root Planing?

We can examine your gums thoroughly for any signs of gum disease. We do this by using a thin probe that measures the pocketing around each tooth. If the pocketing is deeper than about 3mm, this could signal gum disease and the need for periodontal treatment. If you have gum disease, it is important to have this cleaning done as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.

What happens during a Scaling and Root Planing?

The procedure is performed by a licensed dental hygienist in our office. We first numb one whole side of your mouth using a localized anesthetic. The hygienist then works to clear away stains, plaque and tartar from the top of the teeth. They then work underneath the gums to clean out those gingival pockets that have formed as a result of the gum disease. The roots of the teeth are smoothed to ensure the gums can heal properly without bacteria collecting in the area again. You will then be scheduled to come back in for a second visit for the other side of your mouth to be treated in the same way. The procedure takes about an hour per side in our office.

If you would like to schedule an appointment for a scaling and root planing, call us today so that we can get you in as soon as possible.

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