What is scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing, also known as periodontal disease treatment and dental deep cleaning, is a restorative and medically necessary dental procedure. During scaling and root planing, the dentist removes the accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line. After removing the plaque and tartar, the dentist smoothens the surface of your teeth’ roots, thus reversing the damage caused by periodontitis. This procedure is meant for patients with signs and symptoms of a dangerous oral health condition, known as periodontal disease or gingivitis.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gingivitis and periodontitis, is an extremely dangerous inflammatory condition that affects the teeth, gums, and bone tissues in the mouth. This medical condition occurs because of the long-term accumulation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria in your teeth and gum line. When this happens, your gums become inflamed and pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of deep pockets of space. This can lead to loose teeth and eventually the loss of teeth and bone tissues.

The following are some of the primary symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Extremely red and swollen gums
  • Inflammation under the gum line
  • Excessively bleeding gums
  • Loss of teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Increased pockets of space between gums and teeth
  • Halitosis — persistent bad breath despite brushing
  • Pus-filled cyst formation in the teeth and gums
  • Extreme dental misalignment

What causes gingivitis and periodontitis?

If you don’t brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and go for regular dental cleaning sessions, plaque and tartar will continue accumulating in your mouth, increasing the risk of periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar can’t be removed through regular brushing, and they increase the harmful bacteria levels in your mouth. The accumulation of plaque and tartar leads to gum recession, which, in turn, increases bacterial activity in your mouth. This is an ongoing process that continues to worsen until you experience tooth loss.

The following are the most common risk factors for periodontal disease:

  • Poor oral hygiene with insufficient brushing and flossing
  • Smoking regularly or consuming tobacco in any form
  • High consumption of sugary foods and beverages
  • Crooked or misaligned teeth
  • Family history of periodontal disease
  • Underlying medical conditions and certain medications

Why is dental deep cleaning necessary?

Dental deep cleaning is a medically necessary procedure used to treat periodontitis. This procedure involves removing all the accumulated plaque and tartar and smoothing the root’s surface. As such, it disrupts the growth of bacteria and reverses the effects of gum recession and inflammation. It encourages your gum tissues to grow back and tighten around your teeth. If you don’t opt for dental deep cleaning, periodontitis will continue spreading until you experience the loss of teeth and bone tissues. Furthermore, the infection may also spread to other parts of your body via the bloodstream, increasing the risk of strokes, respiratory problems, diabetes, and heart conditions.

What happens during periodontal disease treatment?

  1. The periodontal dentist administers local anesthesia with oral or intravenous sedation to ensure comfort. You will remain awake throughout the procedure, and you may experience a little tenderness in the treatment area, but there won’t be any pain.
  2. The periodontal dentist will perform subgingival scaling to scrape away the accumulated plaque and tartar from the gum line, under the gum line, between the teeth, and the base of the tooth crown. This can be done using a tooth scaling tool or an ultrasonic tool.
  3. The periodontal dentist will remove all the hardened deposits of plaque, tartar, and bacteria from under the gum line and the roots of your teeth. This will smoothen the root’s surface, thus reversing the effects of periodontitis. It will also encourage your gum tissues to grow around the teeth again, thus tightening the periodontal pockets.
  4. The periodontal dentist will flush away the debris and remaining bacteria and administer an antibiotic to prevent the recurrence of gum disease. The entire procedure concludes within an hour or two, following which you can resume your daily activities.

How can dental cleaning help in getting healthy teeth?

Dental cleaning isn’t the same as dental deep cleaning. Dental cleaning is the term used to describe routine prophylaxis cleaning to ensure optimal oral health and prevent gum disease. This involves scaling to remove plaque and tartar before they can affect your dental health. As such, routine dental cleaning once every six months allows you to maintain optimal oral hygiene so you don’t experience severe periodontitis later.

How frequently should one get the scaling of the teeth done?

Scaling is an integral part of routine dental cleaning, so it should ideally be performed once every six months. During your routine teeth cleaning, the dentist will remove all the accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line, restoring optimal oral health. However, some patients with a high risk of gum disease may need dental cleaning once every three months, whereas those with low risk and optimal oral health may only need one scaling per year. Please talk to your periodontal dentist to identify the ideal teeth cleaning frequency for yourself.

Is it good to have a deep cleaning of teeth at the dentist?

Yes, it is good to have a deep cleaning of teeth at the dentist’s office. That’s because periodontal disease treatment is essential, and it prevents you from experiencing worse complications, such as the loss of teeth. Your periodontal dentist will adjust the treatment according to your specific needs to ensure optimal comfort and results.

Please schedule an appointment with a periodontal dentist near me today

URBN Dental is one of the most reliable dental clinics led by an incredibly talented periodontal dentist near me in Uptown Houston. Our dental clinic is located at 2400 Mid Ln. #350, Houston, a short drive from Galleria, Highland Village, Upper Kirby, Bellaire, and River Oaks. Please schedule an appointment with a periodontal dentist near me for more information.