Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a treatment procedure usually performed on patients during the early stages of periodontal disease to help remove the plaque and tartar that built up beneath the gum line. This procedure is considered a deep cleaning and may be performed to improve the quality of tissue before surgery, or to prevent the disease from progressing to a more advanced stage.
During the scaling part of the procedure, an instrument called a scaler is used to scrape away any plaque or tartar that have built up beneath the gums. This plaque often develops in pockets that form between the teeth and gums. As the disease progresses, these pockets grow and may cause teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
Once the scaler has removed the plaque and tartar, the treated area is rough and uneven. Root planing smoothes the root of the tooth so that the gums can heal and reattach to the tooth properly. Your periodontist may also prescribe antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials to help prevent bacteria from growing in the mouth.
Anesthesia or sedation may be used during this procedure for patients who experience sensitivity or anxiety when it comes to dental procedures. There is little to no pain associated with this procedure, and patients can resume their regular activities immediately after. Your dentist may prescribe medication to handle any post-treatment discomfort.
After the scaling and root planing procedure, patients should practice proper oral hygiene in order to prevent pockets from forming again.