Scaling and Root Planning is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treat gum disease. Gum disease is caused by a film of bacteria known as plaque. Plaque is constantly forming on our teeth, but when are teeth are not cleaned properly the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When inflamed, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. The plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed by regular brushing at home. When untreated, gum disease can lead to bone and tooth loss as well as other health related diseases.
If gum disease is caught early enough and has not damaged the structures below the gum line, a professional dental cleaning should remove the buildup. However, if the pockets between your gums are too deep, scaling and root planning is recommended to treat the problem. There are two parts to this appointment. Scaling is when your hygienist removes all the built up plaque and tartar (tatar is the plaque that has hardened) above and below the gum line. Next, root planning which smoothes out our teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Generally two visits are needed, we can also complete the procedure in one visit if you are not concerned about coverage with dental insurance. You will then need one final follow visit after treatment is completed in about 6 weeks, to check on the healing of your gums and to re-measure your pocket depths.
Your dental hygienist will then recommend that you come once every three months for periodontal maintentence (Which are more in-depth than a typical teeth cleaning). Generally, with dental insurance after history of deep cleanings you may be allowed more frequent visits.
If you have any questions or concerns, we’re here to help. Please give our office a call or email us to schedule your routine dental check up today.