What Is The Purpose of Scaling and Root Planing?

Conventional periodontal therapy, more commonly referred to as scaling and root planing, removes various harmful substances from the gums.  This is predominantly used against plaque and calcium, as well as tartar. This method is used to both prevent and treat gum disease. Scaling and root planing can also be used to remove staining from the crown and root surfaces of teeth. This process is known as a deep cleaning.

Many different instruments can be used during a deep cleaning, either manual or electric. Knoxville dental experts skilled in scaling and root planing suggest that it depends on the dentist and the patient to determine what type of tools will be used.  Sonic and ultrasonic scalers are popular tools for this procedure, sonic scalers working with the aide of an air driven turbine and ultrasonic with a magnetostrictive system. The power system causes the tip of the scaler to vibrate at a heavy enough speed to break down any buildup on and around the gum line and teeth.

While scaling and root planing is seen as a beneficial preventative measure, there are risks.  Because the work is done below the gum line and near the tooth root, it can increase the risk of harmful bacteria’s being introduced to the bloodstream. Knoxville dentists will recommend the use of antibiotics if you are at particularly high risk for infection. Also, if anesthesia is needed, you may have a period of numbness in both the lips and tongue.  This can make speaking and chewing difficult for a short period of time. If you have allergies to certain anesthetics, be sure to provide your dentist with this information.  Maintaining proper dental hygiene after the deep cleaning is crucial to the procedure having long term positive effects. If proper maintenance is observed the gum disease should cease, with the gums becoming firm and pink once again.