Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing
Keeping the roots of your teeth healthy is extremely important, even if you can't readily see them. When patients suffer from gingivitis and other gum problems, root planing can often be the best solution. The process removes etiologic agents from the teeth, such as plaque and tartar. Despite the fact the procedure cleans the roots of the teeth, it is a non-surgical procedure with no downtime to effectively treat gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Why Is Root Planing Necessary
Root planing can be used as a preventive or a standalone treatment. Some of the reasons you may need this treatment include:
- Disease Prevention - Those who are susceptible to developing the periodontal disease or gingivitis may benefit from this treatment to help slow down or even stop the development of the disease.
- Tooth Protection - Pockets can develop that separate the gums from the teeth. When this happens, the tooth can be susceptible to cavities and other problems below the surface. Root planing can resolve this issue.
- Aesthetics - In addition to removing plaque and tartar, this procedure can also remove some staining from the teeth, leaving you with a brighter smile.
- Better Breath - Bad breath can sometimes be caused by bacteria and food particles that may be trapped below the gumline. Root planing can remove this debris and restore better breath.
What Does It Involve?
First, the dentist will take x-rays and complete a thorough examination. Depending on the depth of cleaning required, a local anesthetic may be used.
- Scaling - Scaling uses special dental tools and even an ultrasonic scaling tool that will remove plaque and debris from the crown and root of the tooth. An irrigation process may also be used to apply an antimicrobial agent below the gumline to help.
- Planing - Root planing goes a bit deeper, removing the surface dentin and cementum that contains toxins, tartar and microorganisms. The surface is then smoothed to prevent the growth of more bacteria.
After treatment, gum pockets may be treated with antibiotics and a follow-up will ensure the pockets are healing properly.