What is a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?
Gum disease is one of the most common oral conditions faced by millions worldwide. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly one in every two adults over the age of 30 has some degree of gum disease. The disease occurs when bacteria is allowed to infect the gums, causing pocketing to form around the teeth. These pockets become breeding grounds for plaque and bacteria to thrive, further progressing the disease. A scaling and root planing is a procedure designed to clean out these pockets and prevent the spread of the infection.
Why would a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing be needed?
The reason you might need a scaling and root planing is because you have gum disease. The treatment is effective for most stages of the disease and is especially helpful for patients who are looking for a surgical-free periodontal option. It is nearly impossible to clean those gingival pockets on your own, so a scaling and root planing does the work for you. The pockets are both cleaned and the roots of the teeth smoothed and planed to prevent bacterial adhesion.
Who is a candidate for a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?
To determine if you might need a scaling and root planing, you will come into our office for an examination. We can measure the pockets around each tooth to determine if gum disease is present. In general, if these pockets are deeper than about 3mm, this could signal periodontal gum disease. It’s best to begin periodontal treatment sooner rather than later, since gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.
What happens during a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?
We will administer a local anesthetic to one side of your mouth. Our hygienist then works to carefully clean around the teeth and underneath the gum line. The hygienist is removing plaque, tartar and bacteria from these areas. The roots of the teeth are then smoothed, or “planed”, to promote proper gum healing and prevent bacterial adhesion to the roots. You will then be scheduled to come back in to have the other side of the mouth treated in the same way.