Scaling and root planing is referred to as a deep cleaning involving the removal of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) below the gumline. It is also known as the “gold standard” of care for the initial treatment of periodontal disease. This treatment can be performed one time or on a routine basis as needed to help prevent the progression of periodontal disease. This procedure is usually accomplished in two dental visits and may require local anesthetic depending on the severity of your condition.
Scaling and root planing is a procedure used to treat chronic periodontal disease. Scaling is typically done with an ultrasonic scaling device that works quickly and effectively to remove the plaque and tartar. The scaling and root planing procedure is necessary when:
- Gums begin to pull away from teeth
- Tartar or calculus has spread to the roots of the teeth
- Persistent inflammation in the gum tissue
Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
The main goal of scaling and root planing is to help prevent gum disease from spreading into the surrounding hard and soft tissues in the mouth. Research has shown that periodontal infections increase the risk of some heart and respiratory illnesses. Removing the harmful bacteria that sticks to the teeth can help keep the harmful bacteria out of the bloodstream and from spreading into the heart and lungs causing disease.
Additional benefits of the scaling and root planing procedure include:
- A cleaner mouth which helps improve overall oral health
- Improving the look and function of the gum tissue. Gums will become less red and inflamed, bleed less and fit more securely around the neck of the teeth
- Reducing the risk of severe gum disease and tooth loss
- Reducing risk of decay by getting rid of plaque and tartar which harbors harmful bacteria
What To Expect
After a consultation and thorough examination at Venice Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, Dr. Lisa Turner will determine if you could benefit from a deep cleaning, or a scaling and root planing procedure. A deep cleaning procedure usually takes two visits to complete. You will receive a local anesthetic before the procedure to make it more comfortable for you. There are two parts of the procedure:
- Scaling – tartar and plaque will be removed from the tooth roots especially in places where large pockets have formed and below the gum line using an ultrasonic scaler
- Root planing – tooth roots are smoothed and a small layer of surface dentin embedded with harmful microorganisms, toxins and tartar is removed creating a clean, smooth surface to which the gum tissue will reattach. The smooth surface also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future
After the scaling and root planing procedure, your periodontal specialist may recommend additional treatment with antibiotics or irrigation with antimicrobial agents to help control the growth of harmful bacteria that causes periodontal disease.
In more severe cases of periodontal disease, pocket depth reduction surgery may be required to help reduce bacterial spread and prevent bone loss. If you have been referred to a periodontal specialist for a scaling and root planing procedure, Venice Periodontics and Implant Dentistry offers top-notch dental care for patients with periodontal disease and tooth loss. Call today for your consultation (941) 497-5591.