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Scaling and Root Planing

Professional cleanings and regular checkups are essential for your oral health. Even with proper at-home oral hygiene, you may still develop tooth decay and gum disease. A regular professional cleaning involves the removal of plaque, tartar, and stains. When gum disease is present, we recommend another type of cleaning, known as scaling and root planing.

What is scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical procedure used to treat gum disease. Also known as a "deep cleaning," this procedure is the industry standard for treating patients with chronic periodontitis (gum disease). Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. Without treatment, you may experience severe consequences that can affect your overall health. Several studies have linked gum disease to other serious conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Pregnant women with gum disease should take special precautions to avoid premature birth and low birth weight.

Healthy gum tissue should tightly hug around each tooth. Gum disease can lead to deep periodontal pockets between the tooth and the gum. These pockets contain bacterial plaque and tartar that will eat away at the connective tissue and tooth enamel. When a pocket is deeper than 3 millimeters, our specialists will recommend scaling and root planing. For patients with sensitivity issues, we may administer a local anesthetic to reduce discomfort.

Diagram at a Sacramento, CA dentist's office of a tooth being scaled during a scaling and root planing procedure.During the scaling, our trained dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar deposits. An ultrasonic scaler operates using sonic vibrations and a liquid cleaning solution. Microscopic bubbles implode on the surface of the tooth, breaking up deposits, and eliminating bacteria. Ultrasonic scalers are effective and cause no damage to your dental enamel.

Removing bacterial toxins from the root surfaces is crucial for your periodontal health. During root planing, a scaler is used to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Any rough surfaces will also be smoothed out to prevent plaque and tartar from re-adhering to the root. After a root planing, your gums should heal and reattach themselves more firmly than before. In severe cases of periodontitis, surgical intervention may be required.

After the Procedure

You may have some tenderness or sensitivity issues immediately after the procedure. This should go away within a few days. Make sure to maintain regular checkups so we can monitor your progress. During these checkups, our team will perform a careful examination of your gums and take measurements of your periodontal pockets.

Preventative Care

The best way to combat gum disease is prevention. Make sure to brush and floss at least twice a day with an ADA recommended toothpaste. If you have existing dental restorations, make sure to follow specific cleaning instructions. Patients who smoke or use tobacco are at greater risk of developing gum disease. A good home care routine can help prevent gum disease, but it is no substitute for a professional cleaning at Prosthodontic Dental Group.

Schedule a Deep Cleaning Today

If you think you may suffer from gum disease, take action immediately. Call (916) 264-9655, and schedule a deep cleaning today!
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