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Scaling and Root Planing

In cases of acute periodontal (gum) disease that do not respond to conventional treatment and self-care measures, scaling and root planing is a specialized cleaning procedure that may be recommended by your dentist or periodontist.


Before the procedure begins, a local anesthetic is administered to ensure your comfort throughout the treatment. This helps to minimize any potential discomfort or sensitivity during the process.


Scaling is the first step of the procedure, and it involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth and below the gum line. Your dentist or hygienist may use a scaler, a small handheld instrument, to carefully remove these deposits. Alternatively, an ultrasonic cleaner may be used, which utilizes high-frequency vibrations to dislodge and remove plaque and tartar.


Once the scaling is completed, the next step is root planing. Root planing focuses on smoothing the rough surfaces of the tooth roots. This step helps to eliminate bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the tooth structure. Root planing also helps to prevent further plaque and tartar buildup, promoting better oral health.


Scaling and root planing aim to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from deep within the gum pockets and promote the healing and reattachment of the gums to the teeth. The procedure is typically performed in quadrants, treating one section of the mouth at a time.


After scaling and root planing, your dentist or periodontist will evaluate the response of your gums to the treatment. In some cases, additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist. This can include more frequent professional cleanings, the use of antimicrobial mouth rinses, or other advanced treatments, depending on the severity of the gum disease.


Following the procedure, it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and ongoing professional dental cleanings, to prevent the recurrence or progression of gum disease.

Your dentist or periodontist will provide you with specific post-treatment instructions and recommendations tailored to your needs. It is essential to follow these instructions to ensure the best possible outcome for your oral health.

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