The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a thorough cleaning that includes scaling and root planing of the teeth. The objective of this non-surgical procedure is to remove plaque and tartar from deep underneath the gums.
Dr. Garibov will only recommend scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking radiographs (X-Rays). Depending on the condition of the gums, the amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontal disease Dr. Garibov may recommend scaling and root planing. In most cases, a local anesthetic may be used during the procedure.
When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attach to the tooth surfaces are removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaler. The scaler usually includes an irrigation process to wash out bacterial debris and tartar from the tooth surface
Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.
Scaling and root planing is usually performed over 2 appointments that are 1.5 to 2 hours long. Dr. Garibov always sees patients 1 month after this procedure to evaluate the results. Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult for us to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. Patients can seldom, if ever, keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, surgery may be needed to restore ability to keep teeth clean.
Benefits of Treatment
If treatment is successful, scaling and root planing has several of benefits. One is that it can help prevent gum disease, bleeding gums and improve the gum tissue esthetics. Also, scientific research has shown that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, like heart, lungs, and pancreas, causing heart and respiratory diseases as well as predisposing patient to diabetes. Scaling and root planing removes bacteria that causes these conditions.
Another benefit of treatment is prevention of tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3 mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize the pocket causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival and bone tissue. This eventually leads to tooth loss.
Finally, scaling and root planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused by food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed during scaling and root planing, adding an extra bonus to the procedure.
Call our office at (360) 524-4236 to schedule your deep cleaning.