Scaling & Root Planing

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Periodontal scaling and root planing is a part of a deep cleaning process for moderate to severe gum disease patients. Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure to remove dental plaque and tartar. While often done in response to gingivitis, scaling and planing can also be a preventative treatment for patients prone to gum disease.

Why Do You Need Scaling and Root Planing?

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Plaque, the sticky bacteria film that develops on our teeth, has to be removed with daily brushing and flossing; otherwise, the plaque builds up, and the gums start to pull away from the roots of your teeth, forming pockets where plaque cannot be brushed away. Over time, plaque can lead to gum disease, tartar, bone deterioration, and tooth loss. Scaling and planing  is a technique that removes plaque from the pockets around the teeth and help your gums reattach to the cleaned roots.

Your dental team at Konikoff Hoag & San Dental Implants & Periodontics thoroughly examines and
x-rays your teeth and gums to determine whether scaling and root planing is needed. Depending on the condition of your gums, the amount of tartar and plaque, and the severity of the pockets, we may recommend scaling and root planing.

The Process

Scaling and root planing is performed in our office after numbing the area with a local anesthetic. The process itself is not painful, although you may feel some pressure while scaling and planing is performed. Depending on how severe the gum disease is and how deep the tooth pockets are, it can take up to four treatments to remove the tartar buildup.

Scaling

We perform ultrasonic scaling, which is highly effective and not damaging to the teeth. Tartar and plaque on the surface of your teeth, especially below the gum line, are removed during scaling. We may also irrigate the area with an antimicrobial solution below the gumline to reduce bacteria.

Root Planing

Root planing smooths out the roots of the teeth, getting rid of embedded toxins and tartar. This smoothing process helps promote healing and allows the gums to reattach to the teeth roots more easily. It also makes it more difficult for bacteria to settle on the roots and thrive.

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After periodontal scaling and root planing, we may recommend oral antibiotics or antimicrobial irrigation to control bacterial growth. After your procedures, we may also place antibiotic fibers in the periodontal pockets to prevent infection and encourage healthy healing. If the pockets around the teeth are deep, surgery may be needed to remove any infection and establish a proper healing environment.

Some patients experience tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot and cold, for a few weeks after dental scaling and root planing. The sensitivity diminishes over several weeks and is gone within six weeks.

Benefits of Teeth Scaling and Root Planing

There are many benefits to scaling and root planing, including preventing and treating gum disease. Gum disease can trigger other health problems when bacteria from the periodontal infection enter the bloodstream. Research has shown that heart and respiratory disease may result from untreated periodontitis. Scaling and root planing removes the bacteria and encourage healing.

Other benefits include:

  •  Improved breath – chronic bad breath may be the result of bacteria in the teeth pockets
  • Protecting against tooth loss
  • Removing superficial stains on the teeth
  • No more bleeding gums

Periodontal scaling and root planing is the first way to combat gum disease and protect your teeth from infection. At Konikoff Hoag & San Dental Implants & Periodontics, your comfort and safety throughout these procedures is our focus. Contact our office if you are experiencing bleeding gums or other signs of gum disease. We can schedule an evaluation to determine whether teeth scaling and root planing are the right solution for you.

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