At the first sign of gingivitis or moderate periodontal disease, Dr. Braverman may suggest a thorough cleaning that includes scaling or root planing. This non-surgical procedure removes the plaque and tartar that cause gum inflammation and irritation.
What Do the Procedures Entail?
Scaling and root planing are only performed after a thorough examination, which may include x-rays. If Dr. Braverman determines that the progression of periodontitis is considerable, he may recommend scaling and root planing.
Scaling removes tartar and plaque that attaches to the tooth, specifically targeting the area below the gum line along the tooth root. It is performed with a special ultrasonic scaling tool which may also include an irrigation process to deliver an antimicrobial agent beneath the gums to help reduce bacteria.
Root planing literally smooths the roots of a tooth, which promotes healing and prevents microorganisms from colonizing. It also removes surface dentin that may be embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar.
After scaling or root planing, Dr. Braverman may recommend antibiotics or antimicrobial mouth rinses to control the growth of bacteria that cause periodontitis. In some cases, he may choose to place antibiotic fibers below the gum line to control infection and encourage healing.
Benefits of Treatment
If treatment is successful, scaling and root planing may have many periodontal benefits, including:
- It can help prevent disease. Bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the bloodstream and cause other health conditions such as heart and respiratory problems.
- It protects against tooth loss. As gum pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize and destroy gum and bone tissue which leads to tooth loss. Scaling and root planing reduces the chances this happening.
- It removes superficial stains, making your smile more aesthetically pleasing.
- It reduces bad breath caused by food particles and bacteria that hide below the gum line.