Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning treatments used to fight periodontal (gum) disease.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a condition in which bacteria attack the gum and bone tissues that surround and support teeth. It is an infection that destroys the gums and bone and can result in tooth loss. It is often painless and you may be unaware that your gums and bone are seriously affected. Periodontal disease can be treated if detected early.
The type of treatment that you require depends on the precise diagnosis. Often, treatment begins with scaling and root planing. Scaling is used to remove plaque and tartar that is below the gum line.
The area is generally made numb by the use of a strong local anesthetic in order to reduce patient discomfort. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed or planed so that the gum tissue can reattach to the tooth. Generally, a section or two of the mouth are completed at each visit. Once the scaling and root planing visits are complete, another appointment is made so we can check how the pockets have decreased.
If the gum disease has progressed to a more advanced state, a referral to a dental specialist called a periodontist may be recommended for you. A periodontist performs procedures such as curettage, gingivectomy, and flap surgery to treat more advanced cases of gum disease.