What is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planning, also known as deep cleaning, is the most effective non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. It is always performed under local anesthesia and frequently requires IV sedation. It involves the removal of calcified deposits (tartar), inflamed tissue, and bacterial toxins causing inflammation and periodontal disease.
Scaling – Scaling targets the surface of the tooth, above and below the gum line. Using an ultrasonic scaling tool, Dr. McKenzie will be able to send antimicrobial agents below the gums to reduce the presence of oral bacteria. Scaling removes calculus and plaque that attaches to the surface of the tooth.
Root Planing – Root planing removes calcified deposits below the gum line and on the root surface of the tooth. During root planing, the surface of the tooth is cleaned and smoothed, promoting healing and reducing the depth of the pocket so that disease-causing plaque and bacteria cannot persist.
With scaling and root planing, Dr. McKenzie may prescribe a systemic antibiotic to aid healing. For more severe conditions, scaling and root planing may be combined with other procedures such as gingivectomy.
The Benefits of Scaling and Root Planing
While the main goal of scaling and root planing is to eliminate gum disease, the procedure offers a number of other benefits, including:
- Removing periodontal disease as a potential contributing factor to systemic diseases
- Reducing inflammation and bleeding of the gums
- Reducing halitosis (bad breath)
- Improving cosmetic appearance by reducing swelling, redness, and bleeding of gum tissue.
Periodontal disease is not exclusive to any age group. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, can occur even before the pre-teen years. That is why it is important for you and your loved ones to come in for an examination. For patients with gum inflammation or disease, scaling and root planing could be the appropriate treatment.