Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

What is a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

A periodontal scaling and root planing is done to help stop the progression of gum disease. When gum disease develops, small pockets form between the teeth and gums. These pockets allow debris, plaque and bacteria to thrive, further infecting the soft tissue and causing the progression of the disease. Scaling and root planings, sometimes referred to as deep cleanings, can help to keep these gingival pockets clean.

Why is a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing needed?

Patients who have gum disease should have regular scaling and root planings done. The procedure is done by a licensed hygienist who will clean the teeth similarly to a regular dental cleaning. However, the key difference between a scaling and root planing and a regular dental cleaning is that the hygienist cleans underneath the gum line while simultaneously smoothing the roots of the teeth. This helps the gums to heal and stops the progression of the disease.

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

You will come into our office for an exam so that we can measure your gum pockets. If the gum pockets measure above 3mm in depth, this may signal periodontal disease. We can help to treat the gums and prevent spread of the infection with routine deep cleanings. Other periodontal options are available to help in treating gum disease as well.

What happens during a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

First, local anesthetic is applied to the side of the mouth that will be receiving the scaling and root planing. The hygienist then uses tools called scalers to scrape away any tartar, plaque and stains from the teeth. The hygienist then works the scalers deep below the gums to clean out the gingival pockets that have formed. The roots are planed and smoothed so that bacteria does not adhere to these areas. You will need to come in for a second appointment to have the other side of your mouth professionally deep cleaned.

If you think you might need a periodontal scaling and root planing, call us today and one of our helpful staff members can schedule an appointment for you.