A Beginner's Guide To Scaling and Root Planing

A Beginner's Guide To Scaling and Root Planing

Nov 01, 2021

One of the most common dental problems is gum disease, and it affects millions of individuals globally. Gum disease happens when the soft tissue of the gums gets infected and inflamed. While numerous factors can cause gum disease, poor dental hygiene and health are the major contributing factors.

When eating, food particles and other debris can get trapped on the teeth and gums. If not cleaned properly, these particles build up to form plaque. If plaque isn’t eliminated regularly, it hardens to form tartar, a hard brown-looking deposit that firmly attaches to the teeth and gums. Your teeth and gums become a breeding ground for bacteria, which constantly produce harmful acids that cause cavities and gum disease.

Plaque can also develop underneath the gums, causing inflammation to the bone that supports the teeth. It progresses to a more harmful phase when this condition isn’t addressed, causing severe discomfort and complications such as bone deterioration, receding gums, and tooth loss.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

If you have gum disease, either gingivitis or periodontal disease, your dentist can recommend scaling and root planing, among other treatments. Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that effectively removes plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the tooth’s surface and the roots underneath the gums.

Depending on the patient’s condition, this procedure can be carried out only once or regularly. Regular scaling and root planing treatments are essential for patients with periodontal disease. It’s vital when:

  • Calculus or tartar has spread to the teeth’s roots
  • Gums begin to pull away from teeth
  • Continued inflammation of the gum tissue
  • Teeth become loose

Common signs that you have gum disease include:

  • Swollen, tender, red, or puffy gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Toothache
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth loss
  • Gums that bleed easily

Scaling and Root Planing Treatment

If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, it’s essential to seek help right away. In its initial stages, gum disease can be treated and reversed. However, once it progresses to periodontal disease, the condition is irreversible.

The first step to finding help is to visit your dentist for a thorough examination. The dentist will inspect your gums, jaw bone, and mouth and determine whether you can benefit from scaling and root planing. If approved, you’ll be scheduled for the main procedure.

Typically, the main procedure involves:

  • An anesthetic is administered to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
  • Scaling – The dentist uses an ultrasonic scaler to remove tartar and plaque from the teeth’s surface, roots, and below the gum line.
  • Root Planing – Using a scaling tool, the dentist smooths the teeth’s roots, which helps the gums to reattach easily to the teeth. The smooth surface also prevents bacteria from colonizing in the future.

After scaling and root planing, your periodontist or dentist may recommend additional treatments such as irrigation with antimicrobial agents and antibiotics to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. In severe cases of gum disease, pocket depth reduction surgery may be needed to prevent bone loss and reduce bacterial spread.

Your dentist or periodontist may schedule periodontal maintenance visits approximately every 3-4 months to monitor your situation.

Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing

The benefits of root planing and scaling include:

  • Effectively treats and manages gum disease
  • Stops and prevents gum disease from spreading to the nearby soft and hard tissues in the mouth.
  • Reduce the risk of health conditions such as respiratory and heart diseases.
  • Removes and minimizes the harmful bacteria in the mouth that could enter the bloodstream
  • Improves your oral hygiene and health
  • Improves the function and appearance of the gum tissue
  • Reduces the risk of tooth decay
  • Reduces the risk of severe gum disease and teeth loss
  • Improves breath
  • Eliminates the discomfort and side effects of gum disease
  • Allows the gum tissue to hold firmly around your teeth
  • Preserves the jawbone

Final Verdict

If your dentist has recommended scaling and root planing, look into getting the treatment right away. This will prevent the condition from worsening.

Even better, it will maintain the health of your jawbone, gums, and teeth. If you’re looking for professional scaling and root planing services, contact Marshfield Dental Group today to book your appointment.

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