Is Root Planing Necessary After Scaling?

Is Root Planing Necessary After Scaling?

May 01, 2023

Despite numerous improvements and innovations in dentistry, gum disease remains a serious threat to oral health. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, gum or periodontal disease can lead to serious oral complications like bone loss and tooth loss.

In severe cases of gum disease, also known as periodontitis, periodontal infections can spread to vital body organs like the heart, lungs, and brain, leading to serious and life-threatening health complications like heart failure, stroke, memory issues, and pneumonia.

If you’ve developed moderate to severe gum disease, your dentist or periodontist can recommend a tooth scaling and root planing procedure to remove bacterial tartar and plaque from deep periodontal pockets and promote gum healing.

Signs You Need Dental Scaling and Root Planing

The dentist usually recommends a root planing and scaling procedure after a dental examination. Below are key signs that might prompt your dentist to perform the procedure:

  1. Receding or shrinking gums

Receded gums are a key sign that you need a deep cleaning. Gum recession is characterized by gums pulling from the teeth, creating spaces. A root planing and scaling procedure can be used to clean bacterial plaque and calculus trapped under the gums to prevent further damage and allow the gums to reattach to the teeth snugly.

  1. Deep pockets

When the gums are receded, more plaque and tartar continue to accumulate under the gums, creating deeper pockets. A deep cleaning procedure can help remove these bacterial deposits from deep gum pockets to prevent further damage to the gums and surrounding tissues. The procedure also allows the gums to heal and hold to the teeth tightly.

  1. Bleeding or swollen gums

Gum disease can cause severe inflammation and bleeding from the gums. This can indicate the presence of bacterial growth under the gum line. Thus, a deep cleaning may be necessary to remove the infectious deposits and help your gums to regain health and protect them from damage.

  1. Bone loss

If not treated promptly, periodontal bacteria can infect and damage the teeth supporting structures like the bone, leading to bone loss, loose teeth, or tooth loss. A deep cleaning may be necessary to remove bacterial deposits under the gum line to prevent further damage and allow for additional procedures like bone grafting, orthodontics, and dental implants.

Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

Deep cleaning can be performed by a dentist or periodontist. Unlike regular professional cleaning that focuses on cleaning above the gum line, deep cleaning cleans both above and under the gum line. Since the procedure can cause discomfort, you’ll be numbed to keep the procedure painless. Based on the severity of your condition, the treatment can be performed on single or multiple appointments.

Tooth Scaling Procedure

During dental scaling, the dentist or periodontist uses a manual or ultrasonic scaler to scrap off tartar and plaque from your teeth and above the gum line. With ultrasonic scaling, a water spray is used to wash away the debris. In manual scaling, the dentist uses a curette to remove the bacterial deposits. Generally, ultrasonic scaling is quicker and more effective than manual scaling.

Root Planing Procedure

Root planing takes place under the gum line on the roots of your teeth. The dentist or periodontist will push the gums aside to expose the teeth roots. Then, they will use dental scalers to scrap off tartar and plaque from the roots and smoothen them. The dentist can inject an antibiotic medication into the gums to kill and prevent bacteria from recolonizing.

Is root planing necessary after scaling?

Often, both scaling and root planing procedures are necessary to effectively eliminate bacterial infections under the gum line. This helps prevent further damage to the gums, roots, bone, and other teeth-supporting tissues. It also allows your gums to heal and reattach to the teeth tightly.

Additional Procedures

Based on the severity of your condition, you may or not need additional treatments like:

  • Regular cleanings
  • Antibiotic medications
  • Bone grafting to replace or rebuild the weakened jawbone
  • Gum flap surgery to reduce the size of periodontal pockets
  • Soft tissue grafting to replace severely damaged or lost gum tissues

Learn More about Dental Scaling and Root Planing in Marshfield, MA

Are your gums sore, swollen, bleeding, or sensitive? You might have gum disease and may need a deep cleaning procedure. Contact Marshfield Dental Group to book your consultation today.

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