What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

Dentist Tooth CleaningHave you been told you need a “deep cleaning” at your next dental visit? This is likely because your routine checkup showed evidence of gum disease. A deep cleaning, otherwise known as a scaling and root planing procedure, is nothing to fear. In fact, it is a painless treatment that can save your oral health and quality of life from the progression of periodontal disease.

To understand the importance of scaling and root planing, it is helpful to understand just how serious gum disease can be if it is not treated properly. Gum disease involves irritation and infection in the supportive soft tissues of your smile. Once the gums are infected, they can pull away from the tooth root, forming deep pockets that harbor even more bacteria and foster additional damage. Left untreated, gum disease can cause the teeth to lose stability, leading to tooth loss and surrounding bone destruction. To take it one step further, the consequences of gum disease can go beyond your mouth to impact your heart and other areas of your body. Needless to say, gum disease needs to be treated.

One of the most effective and proven ways to address signs of mild to moderate gum disease is with scaling and root planing (SRP). Not only can this procedure prevent gum disease from progressing, it can also help to reverse some of the existing damage. SRP if often a first line of defense that can help patients avoid more invasive periodontal treatments.

What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?

As its name implies, there are two steps involved in a scaling and root planing procedure:

Scaling:  Using a combination of special handheld instruments and ultrasonic tools, your dentist will scrape and loosen the calculus and hardened plaque on the tooth and tooth root.

Root planing: Next, the surface of you tooth roots will be smoothed out. This encourages the gums to reattach.

If you need SRP, you can expect to come in for more than one visit. Typically, only one or two quadrants of your mouth are cleaned at a time. You can expect mild soreness from a deep cleaning, but the discomfort is only temporary. To learn more about why you’ve been told you need scaling and root planing, please give us a call. At Moores Chapel Dentistry, we welcome the opportunity to help patients avoid the devastating consequences of gum disease.

Posted on behalf of Moores Chapel Dentistry

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