Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling & root planing
The objective of scaling and root planing is to remove bacteria and toxins, such as plaque and tartar, which cause inflammation in gum tissue and the surrounding bone. Performed by a hygienist, scaling and root planing may be recommended for the following reasons:

Tooth protection
When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, there is greater risk of periodontal disease. As pockets deepen, they tend to house more colonies of disease-causing bacteria, and the body responds with inflammation. Eventually, chronic inflammation will destroy gum and bone tissue, which may lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss in the developed world.

Better breath
One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is halitosis (bad breath). Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odour in the oral cavity that can often be managed with scaling and root planing.

Aesthetic effects
If superficial stains are present on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of scaling and root planing.

Disease prevention
The oral bacteria that cause periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Some studies have linked systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and low birth weight in babies with untreated periodontal disease.

What do scaling and root planing treatments involve?
Scaling and root planing treatments are performed by a hygienist after a thorough examination by your regular dentist and/or periodontist. We will take x-rays, conduct an oral examination, and make a diagnosis before recommending or beginning these procedures. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, and the depth of the pockets, local anaesthetic may be used.

Scaling removes tartar and plaque from the surfaces of the crown and the roots. This procedure is performed with special dental instruments, including an ultrasonic scaling tool.

Root planing removes the coating on the root that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins, and tartar, leaving a smooth surface. Planing promotes good healing; having clean, smooth root surfaces helps prevent bacteria from collecting.

Under the care of a periodontist, after a four-to-six-week healing period, we will thoroughly examine the gums to see how well the pockets have healed. If the gum pockets still measure more than 3mm in depth, additional and more intensive treatments may be recommended.

Home care A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal and your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Eating balanced meals, reducing the number of sugary snacks, regular brushing and flossing, and regular professional cleanings and check-ups all help you to achieve and maintain good oral and overall health.