Scaling and Root Planing

by on March 30, 2012 | Posted in General dentistry

Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning procedures that attempt to prevent decay of teeth and reverse the effect of gum disease. They are also known as conventional periodontal therapy, non- surgical periodontal therapy or deep cleaning. The objective of scaling and planing is to eliminate the etiologic agents which cause inflammation thus helps to establish a periodontium that is free of disease. Root planing and scaling is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. The process cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. The dentist may need to numb the gums and the roots of your teeth before the procedure. Also, antibiotic fibers may be placed into the pockets between the teeth and gums. The antibiotic helps in speeding up healing and it also prevents infection. The dentist removes the fibers about a week after the procedure.

Root planning and scaling is done when gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits (tartar) on them.

Tooth decaying plaque eventually hardens and turns into tartar. The teeth become rotten and the gums get irritated. Scaling is the surest way to remove tartar by scrapping it off using dental apparatus. This provides a deep cleaning for your teeth at and below the gum line. This cannot be done by brushing or flossing. As soon as tartar is removed, planning follows. Planing smoothes out all surfaces so the gums are protected and plaque is less likely to form.

Periodontal scaling includes the removal of plaque, calculus and stain from the crown and root surfaces of the teeth. Root planing uses ultrasonic instrument to help remove dental plaque, root surface endotoxins and residual calculus.It is a specialized skill used to remove cementum and it is performed on  the root of the tooth that exhibits bone loss with tissue recession. Cementum is softer than enamel and it is affected more by ongoing buildup and inflammatory by products. A smooth cementum provides less opportunity for bacteria to hang out, so root planning is important as it stops periodontal disease where it is at, and preventing it from getting worse.

The scaling and planning procedures are essential and they should not dissociate one from the other

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