A Center For Family Dentistry

What Is Root Planing and Scaling?

August 20, 2014 — by Keith Kelley, DDS
Tags: Gum Disease Restorative Dentistry

Patient receiving a deep cleaningDr. Keith Kelley is committed to using the latest technology to provide you with more effective and comfortable general dentistry treatment. For this reason, our Troy practice is outfitted with advanced lasers for a highly precise root scaling and planing technique. This procedure is one of the most successful treatments for gum disease. During the procedure, your dentist will remove bacteria from beneath your gums, and eliminate the rough patches on your dental roots where bacteria can accumulate. Our highly precise surgical laser minimizes discomfort and speeds your healing. To learn more about this procedure or to schedule your appointment, contact our office today.

What Is Gum Disease?

When bacteria remain on your teeth, they will continue to multiply, eventually spreading to your gum tissue. When this first occurs, you may experience mild gum sensitivity and bleeding. This early stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is reversible, and Dr. Kelley can usually treat it with a routine cleaning. If left untreated, however, the bacteria will continue to multiply, eventually forming pockets in your gum tissue. As the pockets grow, the soft tissue will pull away from the underlying bone and teeth, leading to severe gum sensitivity, bad breath, tooth loss, receding gums, and even a receding jawbone. The damage resulting from periodontitis is not reversible. However, the symptoms can be controlled with scaling and planing, along with other general dentistry procedures.

What Is Scaling and Planing?

Before your scaling and planing procedure, Dr. Kelley will numb your gums with local anesthesia. Then he will use a Biolase® Waterlase MD™ laser to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from your teeth and gum tissue. At the same time, he may also place an antibacterial solution or antibacterial fibers in the pockets. These medications will continue to work after the procedure is complete, and they can help prevent bacteria from returning. Then Dr. Kelley will use the laser to smooth the rough patches on your dental roots. Since bacteria often accumulate in these areas, this process helps prevent bacteria from returning. Additionally, it is easier for your soft gum tissue to heal around smooth, even roots than around a rough surface.

Although scaling and root planing typically involves minimal discomfort, Dr. Kelley may prescribe medication to help with post-procedural sensitivity. Following your treatment, you will need to maintain outstanding dental hygiene to prevent the return of bacteria and plaque. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once, and use antibacterial mouthwash. You should also visit our office regularly for general dentistry services, such as cleanings, exams, and x-rays.

The Advantages of Laser Technology

In the past, dentists performed scaling and root planing with manual instruments. Today’s modern dental lasers have a number of important benefits. First, lasers are more precise. Dr. Kelley can target only infected tissues, leaving the healthy areas unaffected. Second, lasers actually kill bacteria during the procedure for more comprehensive results. Finally, dental lasers seal off blood vessels as they go. Thanks to laser technology, you will experience minimal discomfort and a faster recovery.

Contact Dr. Kelley

Don’t let untreated gum disease threaten your smile and systemic health. Call us today to schedule your scaling and planing procedure.

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