Though gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and loss, it is both preventable and treatable. Root planing and scaling is a restorative dentistry treatment that can help eliminate gum disease and get your gum health back on track. DeJesus Dental Group in Bridgeport offers this overview of root planing and scaling treatment and how it can help improve oral health.
Gum Disease and the Root Planing and Scaling Procedure
In order to understand how root planing and scaling helps treat gum disease, it is important to know how gum disease develops. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums caused by built-up plaque and tartar. As plaque and tartar collect at and below the gum line, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets between the gums and teeth. These pockets continue to grow as more and more plaque, tartar, and food debris collect. Untreated pockets leave the teeth vulnerable to decay and even tooth loss. Root planing and scaling is a highly successful treatment for closing pockets and eliminating gum disease.
Root planing and scaling is a simple, deep cleaning procedure, which is performed by either a dentist or dental hygienist. Though most find the root planing and scaling treatment relatively painless, treatment begins with administering an anesthetic to numb the gums. Once the gums are fully numbed, the teeth are cleaned down to the roots with special scraping tools. Generally, a combination of ultrasonic and manual tools are used to remove tartar and calculus from the teeth. Large pieces of calculus are typically removed with ultrasonic tools while the detailed cleaning is done with hand tools. Throughout the treatment, debris is washed away with a water irrigation system.
Depending on the extent of the gum disease, root planing and scaling treatment may require one to four treatments. For those with minimal disease, a full cleaning can be done in a single dental visit. Those with more extensive gum disease may need their teeth cleaned in quadrants. This is when the mouth is divided into four sections, with each section cleaned in one dental visit. Antibiotic fibers may also be placed between the freshly cleaned teeth and gums to prevent bacterial infection and encourage healing. These fibers are typically removed within seven days of placement.
Root Planing and Scaling Aftercare
Though root planing and scaling is highly effective at treating gum disease, the long-term success of treatment greatly depends on aftercare. Without a daily commitment to proper oral hygiene, gum disease will return after root planing and scaling. You can help prevent gum disease from returning by practicing a the following oral hygiene regimen:
- Brush twice a day for a full two minutes at each brushing.
- Brush well along the gum line.
- Don’t skip daily flossing.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing to reduce oral bacteria.
- See your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.
Schedule an Appointment
To find out if root planing and scaling is right for you, we invite you to schedule an appointment with the DeJesus Dental Group.