A scaling and root planing is sometimes called a deep cleaning. This type of cleaning is performed by a registered hygienist who will clean both the top portion of your teeth as well as slightly below the gum line. If you have gum disease, small pockets form around the teeth themselves, allowing bacteria and debris to become lodged into these crevices. In order to clear out these gingival pockets and prevent progression of the disease, we can perform a scaling and root planing.
You may need a scaling and root planing if you have mild to moderate gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of both tooth and bone loss in the mouth. If left untreated, the disease can eventually get to the point where you lose most or all of your teeth. A scaling and root planing can prevent this from happening, and it’s vital to putting an end to other gum disease-related symptoms, like bad breath, bleeding and gum inflammation.
To determine if you may need a scaling and root planing, we will perform a gum health check. This check involves using a safe and painless probe to measure the pocketing around each tooth. If the pocketing is deeper than about 3mm, we may suggest that you have a scaling and root planing done. This procedure is ideal for patients who have a lot of heavy buildup and who may not have been to the dentist for several years.
The hygienist uses special tools, known as scalers, to clear away debris from above the teeth. These scalers are then used slightly below the gum line to clear out the pocketing that has formed. The roots of the tooth are carefully smoothed to prevent adhesion of bacteria as well as promote optimal healing of the gums. You will then be scheduled to come in to have the other side of your mouth treated in the exact same manner.