Scaling & Root Planing

The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that may include scaling or root planing. The objective of these non-surgical procedures is to remove etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. 

What do the procedures entail?

Dr. Brayer will only perform scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays and visually examining the mouth. Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis, Dr. Brayer may recommend scaling and root planing. In most cases, a local anesthesia may be used during the procedure.

  • Scaling:
    When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root.
  • Root Planing:
    Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar.

Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) are used to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. In some cases, Dr. Brayer may place antibiotics in the periodontal pockets after scaling and planing. This may be done to control infection and to encourage normal healing.

Benefits of Treatment

If treatment is successful, scaling and planing may have many periodontal benefits. Patients will usually see a decrease in bleeding, swelling and tooth mobility. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria that cause these conditions.

Scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedures.