Scaling & Root Planing 1 - 2 hrs
Since brushing and flossing only go about three millimeters below the
gum line, something more is needed to clean the deeper pockets. The
goal of root planing is to eliminate the source of infection by removing
the plaque, tartar and bacterial toxins from surfaces of the roots.
Tartar shows up on an x-ray as small white lumps on the sides of the
teeth. Routine cleanings remove plaque and calculus from above the gum
line. Root planing removes plaque and calculus from below the gum line.
To keep you comfortable, we numb tissues before root planing begins.
Using special instruments, we carefully and meticulously remove the
plaque and tartar that extend below the gum line. Then we smooth the
root surfaces. This treatment allows the infected gum tissue to heal
and to form new, healthier attachments to the root surfaces, and your
gums begin to tighten around your teeth.
care is the key to maintaining the healing process. We will give
you the tools and techniques to use at home as part of your treatment.
Normally, root planing is spread across two appointments, so we can
track the healing and help you fine-tune your home care efforts.
In addition to new home care techniques, more frequent dental cleanings,
we may also prescribe antibiotics or an antimicrobial mouth rinse to
fight the growth of bacteria that leads to periodontal disease.
In cases of advanced periodontal
disease, and in some cases where pockets fail to heal after root
planing, we may also recommend periodontal surgery (pulling the gums
back to gain proper access to the root surfaces, re-sculpting the bone
and gums, and placing several sutures to aid healing).