It may be necessary for a patient to have scaling and root planing as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This could be advised as a preventative treatment to ward off gum disease, or used to help treat a case of periodontal disease. Various dental and gum problems can worsen, leading to tooth and bone loss without this procedure.
What is the difference between scaling and root planing?
Root planing is the process in which any area of the tooth root that is infected by bacteria is cleaned. The treatment involves removing plaque and tartar and smoothing the root of the tooth where it sits beneath the gum line. Scaling is clearing away the tartar and plaque on surface of the teeth that is above the gum line. Both procedures are vital parts of maintaining good oral and dental health.
Why Scaling & Root Planing?
Several conditions will require this scaling, root planing, or both:
- For whole body health: It has been established through research that gum disease is linked to other health problems, including the risk of heart disease and stroke. This procedure keeps the area cleaner, and helps to keep bacteria from growing and travelling into the bloodstream.
- For healthier teeth: When the gums have receded, the risk of periodontal disease is increased. The pockets (areas around the tooth) get deeper, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to lodge and grow. The body responds with inflammation, and the gums become red and can appear puffy or swollen. This inflammation begins to destroy the gum tissue.
- Aesthetics: This procedure can be helpful in removing stains on the teeth and creating a more pleasing smile.
- Bad breath: Ongoing bad breath is caused by bacteria, much of which is living below the gum line. Scaling and root planing clears away the bacteria and plaque so you can have fresher, cleaner breath.
Scaling and Root Planing Procedure
Prior to your treatment, a full evaluation of the health of your teeth and gums will be performed. This exam will include digital X-rays, and a visual exam to check for pockets forming in your gums. After the exam, our dentist will advise you of the treatment you need to resolve your current dental issues, including scaling and root planing procedures.
For scaling, special instruments are used to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. At Pasadena Smile Center, we use the most advanced equipment for this procedure. The tool removes the plaque from your teeth, as well as the surfaces of the tooth roots.
For root planing, the root of the tooth is smoothed with special dental instruments. When the roots are smoothed and cleaned of tartar, it is harder for bacteria to lodge and colonize, leading to gum disease.