What is Scaling and Root Planing and When is it Needed?

By Colonial Dental Group
April 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Recent studies have shown that about 47% of Americans have some severity of gum disease. This startling number became even scaling and root planinghigher, about 70%, when the study changed focus to only those who are 70 or older. However, most cases of gum disease are treatable with a dental procedure called scaling and root planing. Find out more with help from your Glenview, IL dentist.

What is scaling and root planing? 
Scaling and root planing is a periodontal treatment for gum disease like gingivitis or periodontitis. This deep cleaning eliminates the presence of dental plaque and tartar, the cause of gum disease. Gum disease occurs when the gums become inflamed and infected. Gum disease could affect the bone underneath the gum tissue, causing it to degrade.

When is scaling and root planing necessary? 
Normally, the gums fit snugly around the teeth. Only about 1 to 3 millimeters of gum tissue should be between the top of the gum and where it attaches to the tooth. Gum disease causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming deeper pockets between where the gum begins and attaches to the tooth. When your Glenview dental hygienist measures a pocket 4 millimeters or deeper, scaling and root planing is recommended.

What can I expect during the procedure? 
This non-surgical deep cleaning uses a mixture of a supersonic tool and hand tools to blast or scrape away plaque, bacteria and tartar from the teeth. The procedure might take place during several appointments, with your hygienist working on the mouth in halves or quarters, depending on the severity of the problem. Your hygienist cleans the teeth both above the gumline and below it, reaching down to the tooth’s roots. After the procedure, bleeding, inflamed gums should firm up and turn back to a healthy pink rather than irritated red as the pockets shrink.

Caring For Your Teeth After Treatment 
Gum disease returns if your teeth are not properly cared for. Brush twice a day and floss at least once to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings. For more information on treating your gum disease, please contact Colonial Dental Group in Glenview, IL. Call (847) 729-2233 to schedule your appointment today!

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