Root Planning and Scaling

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To fight periodontal disease, we need to reduce plaque, tartar, and the number of bacteria in the pockets in your mouth. One device we use to remove calculus from teeth is an ultrasonic scaler. It consists of a wand with a small scaling tip that produces a soft ultrasonic vibration. The small, quick vibrations in combination with a water flow give us a whole new level of effectiveness in calculus removal. The benefits of ultrasonic scaling include:

Ultrasonic scaling removes calculus and reduces the number of harmful bacteria below the gum line. It is an important tool in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.

Root Planning

For your dental health. Routine cleanings in our office remove plaque and tartar that exist on your teeth above the gum line, but sometimes, especially if you don't floss regularly, plaque, tartar and bacterial toxins can develop below the gum line. The goal of scaling and root planing is to remove this source of periodontal infection from below the gum line on the surfaces of the roots.

Normally, we'll spread scaling and root planing over several appointments. This will maximize your comfort and allows us to check on the healing and help you fine-tune your homecare efforts.

To keep you comfortable, we may give you local anesthetic before the procedure begins. Then we'll use either a small scaling instrument or an ultrasonic scaler to carefully and meticulously remove plaque and tartar from the top of your tooth all the way down to the bottom of the pocket.

Then, we'll plane -- or smooth -- the root surfaces so your gums can heal and reattach to your teeth. If it appears to be necessary, an antibiotic or alternative medication will be placed in the pocket after it's been scaled and planed to control infection and promote healing. Oral antibiotics might also be prescribed to further combat the infection. Once the source of infection has been removed, your gums will begin to heal, and will once again tighten around your teeth.

Homecare is the key to continuing the healing process. Since brushing and flossing only removes plaque about three millimeters below the gum line, you'll need special tools to clean the affected areas. As part of your treatment, we'll provide you with the tools and techniques you'll need to thoroughly clean and maintain these areas.

Post Treatment

For your dental health. If you have a history of periodontal disease, we must monitor the health of your gums closely so that we can prevent a recurrence of this destructive infection.

Periodontal disease can never be cured; it can only be controlled. And if it isn't carefully monitored and controlled, periodontal disease can eventually cause you to lose your teeth.

We must monitor your gums closely If we've diagnosed periodontal disease, we'll usually recommend a form of periodontal therapy called scaling and root planing to remove the infection from beneath your gums. Following this treatment, we'll have you come to see us every few months for ongoing care, which may include x-rays, re-evaluation of your periodontal health and the effectiveness of your homecare, removal of plaque above and below the gum line, and re-treatment with scaling and root planing if necessary. These frequent checkups are vital for controlling your periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is site-specific. This means that you may experience a flare-up of the infection in just one periodontal pocket out of the possible total of 192 that exist in your mouth. Bone and tissue loss may occur in only this isolated area, or it may be more widespread. If we aren't checking regularly for this type of damage to your gums and bone, you might not notice that it's occurring, and the destruction would continue unchecked.

Some bacteria do remain after treatment, and they may settle back into the pocket and once again begin the process of reproducing and destroying bone and soft tissue. In as few as 90 days, the bacteria can reach destructive levels once again. Because of the episodic nature of periodontal disease, and in light of the fact that periodontal disease can reestablish itself in as few as 90 days, the typical 6-month re-care appointment just isn't enough for those with a history of periodontal disease. Statistics confirm that re-evaluation at intervals of at least every 3 or 4 months is critical for periodontal patients. This helps us break the stronghold of bacteria in your gums, minimize the recurrence of the infection, and slow or eliminate its destructive effects.


We combine experience with the latest in dental technology to deliver the best patient experience possible.