All About Scaling and Root Planing: When Is It Needed?

Gum recession process. Medically accurate 3D illustration If you have developed severe gum disease, there is a chance that you may have to undergo a deep cleaning. This procedure may involve two processes called tooth scaling and root planing, which can help to treat inflamed gums and remove tartar below the gum line. Here is what you need to know about these procedures.

What Are Tooth Scaling and Root Planing?

Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning procedures performed in dentistry to get rid of hardened minerals, called tartar, from the teeth. This combination of procedures is often recommended to individuals who have advanced gum disease. The tooth scaling process aims to remove all of the tartar that is visible on your teeth. Meanwhile, the root scaling procedure aims to remove the tartar below the gum line that is not visible.

When Is This Treatment Necessary?

Tooth scaling and root planing are extremely important procedures that help to address gum disease, also known as periodontitis. As you get older, your risk of developing periodontal disease increases. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 70 percent of individuals over 65 years of age have periodontal disease. Various factors increase the likelihood of developing it, including:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Familial history of gum disease
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Heart disease
  • Overbite
  • Defective dental fillings or improperly fitted bridges

Having gum disease can increase your chances of needing this treatment.

What Happens During the Procedure?

During Tooth Scaling

During the tooth scaling, your dentist will use a metal tip that vibrates to chip tartar away from the teeth above the gum line. A water sprayer will help wash away the tartar and remove it from any pockets in your gums. A dental scraping device and scaler will be used to remove any small pieces of tartar that remain to expose the enamel below.

During Root Planing

During root planing, your dentist will use a tool to expose the surface of the roots by pushing aside the gum tissue. The scaling tool will then be used to remove tartar from the roots to create a smooth surface. In some cases, antibiotics may be injected into the gum pockets to clear infections.

Schedule a Consultation in New York, NY, Today

If you are interested in exploring the benefits of scaling and root planing for combating gum disease, contact our team at Dentistry on Park by calling 212-570-6060 to schedule a consultation. We can meet with you at our New York, NY, office to discuss your oral health needs and the best course of action moving forward.

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