What is Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

periodontal scaling and root planing

What is Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on your mouth. Worse yet, if untreated, it can cause various issues throughout your entire body. Thankfully, gum disease is treatable and even reversible before it reaches a certain stage. In-home treatments such as regular brushing and flossing help prevent gum disease, but qualified dentists also perform what is called periodontal scaling and root planing to treat gum disease once it has developed. We are pleased to offer these services at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott. Keep reading to learn more. 

How Do I Know I Need Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing?

Your dentist will determine if you need these procedures done when you go in for an exam or check-up. He will examine your mouth thoroughly for inflammation of your gums to decide if these procedures are the right choice. Expect X-rays, and expect the procedures to be scheduled for a following appointment. 

What Do These Procedures Entail?

Periodontal scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures. That means they’re quite routine, and anesthesia is generally not required, though local numbing is administered. Dentists perform scaling and root planing when the plaque in your mouth causes inflammation. Inflammation, which is a major component of gingivitis, causes pockets to form in your gums. Pockets are spaces where the teeth have become detached from the gums.

These procedures get rid of the plaque that causes pockets. Your dentist goes inside the pockets that have developed and cleans them out. They are known as a “deep clean” of your mouth because they do just that: thoroughly purge your mouth of plaque and tartar.

Benefits of Periodontal Scaling 

Think of the process of gum scaling as akin to someone climbing the length of a tall building. Using an ultrasonic scaling tool, your dentist will “scale” your gums from top to bottom, eliminating plaque and tartar in every area. They start at the roots and crowns of your teeth and remove the tartar, or plaque buildup, on each tooth. At the end of the process, an irrigation (or rinse) of your gums helps to heal the pockets. 

Benefits of Root Planing

Root planing goes a step further than scaling, in that it smooths out the areas that have just been cleaned. It also gets rid of bacteria mixed with the cementum and dentin of your mouth. Your gums come out polished and shiny after the procedure. 

Do They Hurt? 

Periodontal scaling and root planing are not usually painful procedures. Still, every patient reacts differently, and they may be more uncomfortable for some than others. Local anesthesia may be administered in cases with excessive plaque buildup. You may be placed on antibiotics afterward, which will help soothe irritation and help the gum tissues heal. 

How Long Does it All Take?

Because an initial examination is needed before the procedures are scheduled, the entire process shouldn’t take more than two visits. The actual procedures are almost always done in one appointment.

Your Local Dentist in Prescott

Periodontal scaling and root planing are not as intimidating as they may sound! Our team at Hicks Dental Group will make these processes as quick and comfortable as possible. Schedule your cleaning or exam today to determine if these are the treatments you need. 

Image by Mudassar Iqbal on Pixabay.