Important Points About Scaling and Root Planing

Professional cleaning is an important part of your routine oral health care. Typically, it involves carefully cleaning away the plaque and tartar that have developed on the crowns of your teeth. Sometimes, though, harmful oral bacteria can form plaque and tartar on the roots of your teeth, which rest underneath your gums rather than above them. Left untreated, this buildup can become the foundation of gum disease. At our Encinitas/San Diego periodontal office, we can help reduce the chances of gum disease or treat it in its earliest stage – gingivitis – by performing a more comprehensive periodontal cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing.

How it’s different from regular cleaning

Periodontal cleaning and regular dental cleaning have similar goals – to carefully but thoroughly remove all traces of harmful bacteria that have built up on your teeth and gums. The difference, however, is that scaling and root planing describe cleaning and smoothing the surfaces of your teeth roots instead of other crowns. This requires more involved care, such as carefully accessing your teeth roots underneath your gums. Because of the complexity of the procedure, it can take multiple visits to complete. However, it can become necessary to prevent the development or progression of gum disease, and the more extensive treatment it would take to address it in its more severe forms.

Will it cure your gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and describes the infection in your gums that occurs from the presence of harmful oral bacteria. Scaling and root planing removes the microbes so that healthy gum tissues can heal and reattach to your teeth roots. If performed early enough, periodontal cleaning may help reverse gingivitis before it can progress. Yet, in many cases, it cannot be completely cured. After your scaling and root planing procedure, you may also require a regular schedule of periodontal maintenance, including specialized treatments to restore diseased gum tissues and more thoroughly eradicate harmful oral bacteria.

In case you need ongoing maintenance

In addition to removing gum disease-causing bacteria, periodontal maintenance can include one or more customized, holistic periodontal treatments. For example, ozone therapy may be recommended to neutralize a larger number of microbes, which are generally anaerobic. The treatment applies oxygen to areas underneath your gums for a more effective and efficient level of bacteria control. If your gums are severely diseased, then laser treatment (LANAP) may also be necessary to trim away the diseased tissues. If your gum disease becomes severe enough to cause tooth loss, then restoring your smile could require the placement of one or more dental implants.

Protect your gums with deep cleaning

Periodontal cleaning (scaling and root planing) can stop your gingivitis in its tracks, and in some cases, reverse the condition completely. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.