Deep Teeth Cleaning

The initial stage of treatment for periodontal disease is thorough cleaning called scaling and root planing. The objective is to remove the causes of inflammation and disease, including dental plaque and calculus. Scaling and root planing are effective in treating mild and moderate periodontal disease. In severe periodontal disease, further treatment is usually indicated following scaling and root planing to stabilize the bone levels. 

What Do the Procedures Entail?

Dr. Hoffman will recommend scaling and root planing after a thorough examination of the mouth, which may include taking x-rays. This recommendation is based on factors including the condition of the gums, the amount of calculus, the depth of the pockets, and the progression of periodontitis. Anesthesia is often recommended to make a patient comfortable. 

An animated illustrion showing the process of scaling

Scaling:

When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attach to the tooth surfaces are removed. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Scaling is performed with a special dental tool called an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool usually includes an irrigation process that can be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums to help reduce oral bacteria.

An animated depiction of a root planning procedure

Root Planing:

Root planing is performed in order to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins, and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed, which promotes healing, and also helps prevent bacteria from easily colonizing in the future.

Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that cause periodontitis. It is often difficult to manage deeper pockets with scaling and root planing alone. In these cases, surgery may be needed to restore periodontal health, and a referral to a specialist may be indicated.

Some Benefits of Treatment:

  • Reduction in bacteria entering the blood stream
  • Healthier heart and lungs
  • Prevention of tooth loss
  • Reduction in bad breath
  • Reduction in superficial stains