Scaling and Root Planing
Dental scaling and root planing are two separate dental procedures that are often performed in conjunction with one another. You may hear the procedures combined referred to as “deep cleaning”.
Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. Plaque is the sticky substance comprised of microbes like bacteria, food particles, and other materials that cling to teeth and can lead to decay and disease. Tartar is a crusty deposit that traps stains on the teeth and causes discoloration.
Once the patient’s teeth and gums are thoroughly cleaned, the tooth’s roots are smoothed. This helps the gums firmly reattach to the teeth and fosters proper healing.
Candidates for Dental Scaling and Root Planing
Individuals with periodontitis (gum disease) are candidates for dental scaling and root planing. Research shows that a significant percentage of the adult population in the United States over age 30 has some form of periodontitis, the most common cause of which is poor dental hygiene; however, some medical conditions, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and lifestyle habits such as cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake can also cause the condition.
Preparation for Dental Scaling and Root Planing
These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis in the dentist office over several visits. Most patients receive a local anesthetic prior to the procedure to reduce any pain or discomfort.
While dental scaling and root planing are usually completed without a significant degree of pain or risk for complications, individuals with comprised immune systems or other serious illnesses are strongly urged to alert the dentist prior to having the procedure. Bacteria can circulate during scaling and root planing, which could increase the risk of infection for those with a more susceptible immune system.
Following the Procedure
Some tenderness may persist for a day or two after dental scaling and root planing. Soft foods are recommended until the discomfort passes.
These procedures can slow the progression of periodontal disease, with improved pocket gaps between the teeth and gums and fewer incidents of tooth loss.
Individuals with periodontal disease or those who are experiencing some type of oral discomfort may be candidates for dental scaling and root planing. The professional dental team at Cypress Family Dental can perform a thorough examination and determine the most appropriate course of action for your unique case. Contact us today to schedule your appointment so that we can help you achieve optimal oral health.