Scaling and Root Planing: Procedure and Effectiveness

Scaling and Root Planing: Procedure and Effectiveness

February 1, 2023

Gum disease is no joke! It is a subtle dental issue that usually takes time to develop, but once it has advanced, it may be challenging to reverse its effects. However, it is a common condition that affects almost half of the adult population above 30 years.

The disease is medically known as periodontitis and is characterized by an infection and inflammation of the tissues that support the teeth. The primary cause of the disease is plaque buildup along the gumline. The good news is that there is scaling and root planing in Pleasant Hill, CA, which will help keep the disease at bay.

Understanding Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)

Gum disease never happens; it takes some time to advance. The initial stage of the condition is known as gingivitis, which means gum inflammation. At this stage, the gums are inflamed, so they will be swollen, tender, and bleed easily. The good thing is that you can deal with this issue at home with better oral care.

But if it advances to gum disease (periodontitis), then you will need professional care, and that’s where scaling and root planing (SRP) near you come in handy. These procedures are your next option to protect your teeth, gum tissue, and oral health.

When you have periodontitis, the soft tissues (gums) surrounding the teeth will become inflamed and infected and pull away from the tooth surfaces. When the gums pull away, they create deeper spaces, known as periodontal pockets, where bacteria, plaque, and tartar can accumulate.

Scaling is done to remove tartar from your teeth’s surface. Then root planing removes tartar from the roots below your gumline. (Tartar is a hardened plaque and is brownish). Root planing is also done to smooth the root surfaces to create a healthier environment that will aid the healing and reattachment of the gums to the teeth.

Scaling and planing are also referred to as deep cleaning.

When Should Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) Be Done?

Our SRP dentist in Martinez may recommend an evaluation of your gums. This will allow our dentist to perform gum disease screening to look for evidence of gum infection. The evaluation will also reveal if there are any signs of bone loss.

Our dentist will measure the spaces between the teeth and gums. You will need to take an x-ray to evaluate the amount of bone surrounding your teeth. A thorough examination is necessary to determine whether you have gum disease.

However, some of the signs that may indicate the presence of the disease are:

  • Bad taste in the mouth or bad breath
  • A receding gumline
  • Red, puffy, tender gums
  • Gums that easily bleed
  • Gum pockets greater than 3 mm in depth
  • Teeth that shift or are loose
  • Radiographic evidence shows that there is the bone loss
  • Pus between the teeth and gums

Some people may have a higher risk of developing periodontitis, especially if they have diabetes, hormonal changes, poor oral hygiene, stress, and improperly fitted dental prostheses.

What Happens Before Scaling and Root Planing

Gum disease never causes dental pain. That’s what makes it dangerous. In any case, our dentist will perform an oral examination which will include taking digital x-rays. Once the tests reveal that you have gum disease, the next step is to schedule scaling and planing.

How Is Scaling and Planing (SRP) Done?

Scaling and planing are two separate procedures to remove tartar from the teeth. So, here are the steps our SRP dentist in Martinez takes during scaling:

  • Our dentist will use a scaler, which has a vibrating metal tip that chips tartar off the teeth above the gum line
  • Then a water spray will wash away the tartar and flush plaque that might be stuck in the gums
  • Lastly, our dentist will remove the small remaining pieces of tartar using a small scraping device known as a curette

Root planing takes place on the roots below the gum line. Here’s how our dentist carries out root planing:

  • Our dentist will use a tool to push aside your gum tissue to expose the surface of the roots
  • Then, our dentist will use the same scaling tools to remove the tartar on the roots then make the roots smooth
  • At times, our dentist may inject an antibiotic directly into the gum pockets

How Effective Is Scaling and Planing

In most cases, removing bacteria and tartar from the teeth and roots via scaling and planing will control gum disease. However, some factors will affect how your teeth respond to scaling and root planing, such as smoking, diabetes, and damage to your teeth, leading to misalignment.

If you think that you have gum disease, contact us at Grafton Dental to schedule an appointment.