Root Planing and Scaling
Root planing and scaling is a standard treatment for gingivitis and more severe forms of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This is where the gums become swollen and inflamed and they become particularly prone to bleeding. The gums are irritated due to the presence of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth and at the roots of your teeth, under the gum line. These bacteria thrive in environments where dental plaque is present, including hardened plaques called calculus or tartar. If ordinary plaque is not removed quickly enough through routine oral care like brushing and flossing, it absorbs minerals from saliva and hardens, and becomes difficult to remove. Root planing and scaling, also called deep cleaning, is the process of removing these hardened deposits to encourage healthy gums.
Root planning and scaling may be accomplished during one office visit to Oakridge Dental Center, or it may need to be broken up into more than one visit if extensive root planing and scaling is required. It is typically performed using both powered ultrasonic instruments and dental hand tools. Ultrasonic instruments use electricity or compressed air power to vibrate at a very high frequency to break down and dislodge tartar. They are typically combined with a flushing system that removes the debris at the same time. They can be noisy and you will feel a vibration in your jaw, but they are not painful. Our dentists may also use hand instruments as required during root planing and scaling to scrape away stubborn deposits. As these include deposits below the gum line, they are not clearly visible, so this is often done by touch and feel, and can be quite time consuming. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the gums and teeth roots so there won’t be any pain during the root planing and scaling procedure.
If you are suffering from gum disease, Oakridge Dental Center can help using dental root planing and scaling to successfully treat mild to moderate disease, and alternative treatments are also available for more severe cases.