• Scaling and Root Planing with Metro Dental Care

    What is Scaling and Root Planning and why do I need it?

Scaling and Root Planing

To understand Scaling and Root Planning, we first need to understand Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease simply means gum disease.  This is most commonly the result of infrequent dental cleanings, or ineffective brushing and flossing techniques.  Gum disease is present when the gums are infected, and bleeding occurs.

Bleeding is a direct result of a build up of calcified plaque (calculus) below the gum line. When plaque has had the opportunity to accumulate, the minerals in your saliva combine with the plaque and cause calcification to take place. This build up irritates surrounding gum tissue, and leads to the infection referred to as periodontitis or Periodontal Disease.

As the infection progresses, a vertical space is created between the teeth and gums where even more calculus accumulates beneath the gums.  Deterioration of the gum tissue continues.

Your dental hygienist, or dentist can assess the health of your gums by measuring the space between your teeth and gums with a periodontal probe.  If the measurements are 4mm and above with bleeding, you may have periodontal disease.  Calculus build up and bone loss are also detectable on x-rays, which is another reason routine radiographic examinations are important for your oral health.


Root Planing & Scaling Treatments

Once it has been determined that periodontal disease is present, your dental hygienist or dentist will discuss the appropriate therapy.  Scaling and root planning (SRP) is the process in which the gums are anesthetized (or numbed), and instruments are used to scrape away the calculus build up, smooth the root surface and irrigate the gum tissue to encourage healing. This may be accomplished with a series of appointments, as usually only one or two sections of the mouth are treated at a time.

Following each session you may remain numb for a couple hours. Most patients feel completely fine once the numbness wears off, and immediately notice overall improvement in the feel of their teeth and gums.

Ultimately, the goal of scaling and root planning is to remove all infected debris from the gum pocket to encourage healing.  Follow up appointments are recommended, where gum tissues are re-evaluated to determine the level of healing.  Together, you and your dental hygienist will establish the proper cleaning schedule to establish and maintain healthy gums, free of disease.