What is a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?
A scaling and root planing is a type of cleaning performed by a hygienist to clear away debris above and below the gum line. It is often referred to as a deeper cleaning and is specific to patients who have gum disease. Gum disease causes the soft tissues around the teeth to separate, which creates pocketing between the gums and the teeth themselves. In order to clear debris out of these gingival pockets and prevent further progression of the disease, we recommend having a scaling and root planing done.
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. Gum disease can lead to both tooth and underlying bone loss. Because nearly half of all adults have the condition, it is important to prevent it from getting worse with a thorough deep cleaning. The scaling and root planing removes debris from below the gum line that would otherwise be impossible to remove on your own.
Who is a candidate for a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?
There are several ways to tell if you have gum disease. Patients with gum disease often find that their gums bleed when brushing, flossing and even when eating certain foods. You might have red, swollen and painful gums as well as persistent bad breath. In the office, we can check for gum disease by performing a gum health check. This uses a thin, painless probe that measures the size of the pocketing around each tooth.
What happens during a Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?
The procedure begins with anesthetic that is used to numb an entire side of your mouth. The hygienist then gets to work clearing debris and tartar from above and below the gum line. The roots of the teeth underneath the gum line will be smoothed so that the gums can more easily heal against them. You will then need to come back in for the other side to be treated in the same way. Taking a proactive approach against gum disease can save your teeth and prevent the need for more aggressive treatments.
If you’d like to learn more about a scaling and root planing, call our office today so that our helpful team members can further assist you.