Dental scaling and root planing treat gum disease before it becomes severe. It involves a careful cleaning of the root surfaces. The procedure is done by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Why it is done
The procedure is done to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Scaling and planing helps your gums regain or maintain health and avoid tooth decay. Smoothing of rough spots on the roots of the teeth is done. These rough spots can allow gum disease to develop by trapping and holding bacteria. The bacteria can multiply and erode the tooth, which contributes to gum disease and tooth decay.
During the procedure
During the procedure, ultrasonic instruments are used for both planing and scaling. These instruments clean between the gums and teeth down to the roots. This helps speed up healing and prevents risk of infection.
What to expect
The procedure can be done in a single visit. If more than half of the mouth will be treated, two visits may be recommended. Local anesthetic is sometimes used to numb the patient’s gums and the roots of their teeth.
This procedure can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. Patients should make sure their dentist or dental hygienist knows their total health history before a scaling or root planing procedure. Extra precautions must be taken for patients who are at increased risk for infections, such as those with heart problems, liver disease or a compromised immune system.