What is it? Scaling and root planing are the most common form of treatment for periodontal disease.
- Scaling is used to remove calculus (also known as tartar) and plaque from the tooth surface above and below the gum line.
- Root planing improves smoothness of the root’s surface and removes any remaining calculus.
Scaling and root planing may be recommended when plaque – the sticky, bacteria-laden substance that adheres to the tooth structure, becomes calcified (hardened) and transforms into the much-harder-to-remove calculus. Both plaque and calculus are irritants to the tissues in your mouth and, untreated, may lead to gum inflammation, gum recession and deterioration, bleeding, eventual bone loss around the teeth and, ultimately, tooth loss. You can avoid all this with ongoing adherence to ongoing good oral health care, regular check-ups and, when recommended, scaling and root-planing. The goals of scaling and root planing are to:
- eliminate any active inflammation caused by bacteria;
- reduce the periodontal pockets around the teeth so they cannot trap plaque or calculus; thereby
- maintaining optimal bone height around the teeth.
Why might you need it? Signs of periodontal or gum disease include, but are not limited to:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
If any of the above sound familiar, you may be a candidate for periodontal therapy such as scaling and root planing. What can The Esthene Dental Centre do for you? When the amount of plaque and calculus in your mouth becomes severe, and the amount required to remove is extensive, it’s time to call in The Esthene Dental Centre experts. Not only is this important to treat the problem, it’s crucial in order to prevent further, more extensive and damaging disease. Our dentists may start with numbing the area to make the scaling and root planing procedure more comfortable for you. A combination of sonic and hand instruments are then used in the procedure:
- Sonic instruments are called upon to remove the initial large deposits of plaque and calculus.
- Hand instruments are then used to remove any remaining tartar and ensure all surfaces of the crown and root are clean and free of bacteria.
Sensitivity and soreness may be present a few days following treatment and usually can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers. A follow-up visit will then likely be scheduled for around four weeks following treatment to check the improvement of gingival status. Regular appointments (three- and six-month intervals are typical) may be scheduled thereafter to monitor progress, overall gum and oral health, and keep the disease at bay.