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Deep Teeth Cleaning

What Is Scaling And Root Planing?

A scaling and root planing will be done by a licensed hygienist in our office. The procedure involves removing heavy buildup and debris from the teeth as well as getting deeper into the gingival pockets around each tooth. The upper roots of the tooth are then smoothed so that bacteria is less likely to stick to them. A scaling and root planing is done as part of periodontal treatment if you have gum disease or very heavy buildup on the teeth.

Why would you need a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

A periodontal scaling and root planing is necessary if you have gum disease. When gum disease begins, the gum tissue begins to separate from the teeth. This causes pockets or small craters to form around the teeth. Bacteria is then able to get into these pockets, making it nearly impossible to keep clean on your own even with the best dental hygiene habits. The scaling and root planing procedure keeps these pockets clean and prevents the spread of the infection.

The hygienist will measure your gum pockets at each of your bi-annual dental appointments. If the hygienist gets a high number during the reading, this is a sign that there is a deep pocket around the tooth. If you have gum disease, it will be recommended that you have this procedure as a way to clean out those gum pockets and keep the gum disease from further infecting the gums and underlying bone.

What Do the Procedures Entail?

We will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of the periodontitis, Dr. Gupta may recommend scaling and root planing. In some cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.

Scaling:

When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces are removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a Ultrasonic Scalers. This treatment is especially important as a preventive measure for people who may be prone to periodontal (gum) disease. 

Root Planing:

Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.

When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for Dr. Milone to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health.

Benefits of Treatment

If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. One is that it can help prevent disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing removes bacteria that cause these conditions.

Another benefit of treatment is preventing tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in-depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This leads to tooth loss.

Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing and should reduce bad breath caused by food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.

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