Scaling and root planing (planing), otherwise known as conventional periodontal therapy, non-surgical periodontal therapy, or deep cleaning, is the process of removing or eliminating the etiologic agents – dental plaque, its products, and calculus – which cause inflammation, thus helping to establish a periodontium that is free of disease.
Scaling is a technique used where the plaque, tartar, and biofilm are removed from your teeth just below your gum line. Regular deep cleanings can help reverse and prevent gum disease.
Root Planing immediately follows scaling and is a procedure where your dentist smoothes the root surfaces of your teeth just below your gum line. This makes it much more difficult for biofilm and plaque to accumulate.
Root planing and scaling is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it becomes severe. Root planing and scaling cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots. Your dentist may need to use a local anesthetic to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth.
Some dentists and dental hygienists will use an ultrasonic tool for the planing and scaling. This tool is not as uncomfortable as a standard scraping tool, but not all cleanings require this type of tool.
Your dentist may place antibiotic fibers into the pockets between your teeth and gums. The antibiotic will help speed healing and prevent infection. The dentist will remove the fibers about 1 week after the procedure if used.
This is also commonly referred to as “deep cleaning”.
If anesthesia is used, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours. Planing and scaling causes little or no discomfort.
Root planing 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.
If you maintain good dental care after the procedure, the progression of gum disease should stop, and your gums will heal and become firm and pink again.
After your deep cleaning at Westwood Family Dental, Dr. Wilson will schedule you for a follow up appointment to see how your gums are coming along. In most cases, if you have taken care to brush and floss properly, your gums will have begun to heal.
Periodontitis is a gum disease that could have serious complications if left untreated. If you have swollen gums or bleeding after brushing or flossing it is time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wilson at Westwood Family Dental.
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