From Inflammation to Health: How Scaling and Root Planing Help


Gum disease is a prevailing dental problem that is caused by plaque and calculus. If you develop gum disease, consult the family dentist in Pacific Beach, San Diego. They may offer a comprehensive approach through scaling and root planing to remove calculus and treat inflamed gums. These procedures help chip off hard calculus that is otherwise not possible through regular brushing and flossing. Scaling and root planing help protect your smile and prevent early tooth loss or gum and jawbone deterioration. 

Scroll down to learn more about scaling and root planing through this informative blog. 

A comprehensive guide to scaling and root planing 

Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleanings, are dental procedures to get rid of calculus that can stick to your teeth. You may require these treatments if you suffer from gum or periodontal disease. Scaling involves the removal of calculus from the surface of your teeth, while root planing involves the removal of calculus from the roots of your teeth below the gum line. 

What to expect before scaling and root planing?

Your dentist will first evaluate your oral cavity to determine the amount of calculus present. They perform a detailed oral examination to assess the gum deterioration in the form of gingival pockets. Special probes are used to measure the pocket to determine the amount of bone loss. This is further confirmed through oral radiographs. 

What to expect during scaling?

Your dentist or oral hygienist will use a vibrating tool called an ultrasonic scaler to perform the scaling process. It involves the following steps:

  • A vibrating metal tip on the scaler will chip off the calculus from your teeth’s surfaces. 
  • A water spray from the scaler washes away the calculus, and flushes plaque from the gingival pockets. 
  • The remaining small pieces of calculus will be removed using a manual scaler and a curette (a scraping device). 

What to expect during root planing?

Root planing is similar to scaling but it takes place on the roots of the teeth below the gum line. 

In this treatment, your dentist will:

  • Use a tool to gently push aside your gum tissues and expose your root surfaces. 
  • Use the same scaling tools to chip the calculus and make them smooth
  • Inject an antibiotic solution into the gingival pockets

Gum disease can be deteriorating. Untreated cases can cause further damage resulting in loss of attachment and tooth mobility. Seek dental care as soon as you notice signs of gum disease like bleeding swollen, inflamed gums to prevent further damage. Gum disease at an early stage can be easily reversed through scaling and root planing. 

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