Since periodontal disease can be so damaging, it is important to take proper care of your dental health. Scaling and root planing is a very effective procedure but typically reserved for more advanced cases of periodontal disease. Proper hygiene, regular checkups and other procedures can vastly improve your chances of avoiding this treatment. Despite this, many patients still need scaling and root planing to alleviate their gum disease.

Scaling and root planing is a procedure in which Dr. Toms will remove bacteria and plaque above and below the gumline. Either an ultrasonic device or a scraper will be used, depending on the extent of the buildup, to remove harmful substances. Any bacteria or plaque around the gums, typically down to the root of the teeth, will be removed to prevent further spread of infection and damage.

Rough areas on the teeth that have been damaged by bacteria will be smoothed by root planing to ensure proper healing and reattachment of gum tissue. Sometimes, fibers containing antibiotics may be placed between teeth to combat any additional bacteria that could not be reached with the scraper or ultrasonic tool. If the fibers are used, they will need to be removed about a week after the surgery is completed.

How does gum disease progress to a level requiring scaling and root planing? As plaque and calculus forms below the gum line, it causes gum tissue to become diseased and infected, ultimately leading to receding gums and potential bone and tooth loss. Some teeth are in hard to reach areas, making it difficult to clean them adequately. Frequent checkups with your periodontist are necessary to properly clean those areas and prevent the spread of bacteria and plaque.

In the event that you do need this procedure, you will find scaling and root planing is effective in removing calculus, which cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. The ultrasonic and scaling tools remove the calculus from the surface of the teeth below the gum line, to eliminate the progression of gum disease.

Scaling and root planing may or may not be the right treatment for you. Call Dr. Toms’ office at (513) 922-7300 for more information and to schedule an appointment for an assessment.