Why scaling and root planing?
Scaling and root planing are often used by dentists to treat gum disease because of several reasons:
- Scaling and root planing are both minimally invasive. They are a non-surgical intervention which most patients prefer as a treatment for gum disease.
- The technique involves eliminating things in the mouth like dental plaque and tartar that can contribute to inflammation of the gum tissue and the surrounding bone.
- These techniques also clean the periodontium and relieve the symptoms of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Root planing and scaling can be used on their own or as part of a preventative step to help a patient who is suffering from periodontal disease.
The main benefits of scaling and root planing
Stop bacteria on their tracks
Periodontal disease is caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria get to the gum tissue and can easily escape to the rest of the body through the bloodstream. When this happens, patients can suffer serious lung infections and even heart disease. Scaling and root planing techniques involve stopping the bacteria on their tracks. With this procedure, you can reduce the risk of periodontal disease from progressing and exposing other parts of your body to bacteria.
Prevent tooth loss
If the gum pockets are deeper than 3mm, they are at a higher risk of periodontal disease. This is because the deep pockets can accumulate bacteria which can cause a chronic inflammatory response. The bacteria slowly attack the gum tissue and bone leading to tooth loss.
Improve the look of your smile
Scaling and root planing involve getting rid of tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gums. This helps to eliminate the stains that appear on the tooth and not only improves the patient's oral health but also their looks.
Prevent halitosis (bad breath)
Periodontal disease can greatly contribute to halitosis. This is a condition better known as bad breath. Halitosis is caused by food particles and bacteria that stick in the oral cavity resulting in a terrible smell. Scaling and root planing involve cleaning procedures that help minimize these symptoms and improve the patient's self-confidence.
How it works
Scaling and root planing treatment begins with an oral exam. The dentist will perform a visual observation and may also request for an x-ray in order to diagnose your condition. Scaling and root planing will be recommended if the results from the initial consultation show that:
- Your gums are in bad shape
- You have a lot of tartar present
- Your gum pockets are deep
- You are suffering from severe periodontal disease
What is scaling?
Scaling involves the use of special dental instruments or scaling tools to eliminate calculus and plaque from the exterior of the crown and root. The scaling tool has an irrigation system that flushes an antimicrobial solution just below the gums in order to minimize oral bacteria.
What is root planing?
Root planing involves removal of cementum and surface dentin from the root. The root is then leveled to encourage faster healing and prevent bacteria from returning in the area.
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