Scaling and Root Planning

Scaling and root planning remove rough calculus deposits on the root that can attract and collect bacteria
They help gums or pocket wall reattach firmly to the spotlessly clean root surface to help prevent tooth loss
They decrease tooth sensitivity due to gum recession
They prevent bone loss
They make it difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces
They prevent tooth loss due to gum disease

Who is this procedure for?
Patients with gums that bleed during brushing
Patients with tender or swollen gums
Patients who have developed deep pockets between teeth and gums

Who should not consider this procedure?
Patients who have pacemakers should avoid scaling as the vibrations caused by the instruments that are used can interfere with the pacemakers.

What happens before the procedure?
Before the actual procedure, the dentist may remove bigger chunks of tartar. This way he or she can remove up to 50 % of the existing tartar, leaving the rest to scaling. Some dentists may choose to numb the mouth due to the depth of the cleaning.

What happens during the procedure?
Depending on the extent of the disease patients may need to have one or more mouth sections treated with scaling and root planning. Scaling means that the dentist deep cleans the teeth using instruments that are called "scalers" to remove the rest of the tartar and plaque. When the scaling is done, he or she uses curettes to plane the roots until they are smooth. This is root planning.

What happens after the procedure?
The dentist prescribes antibiotics and antibacterial mouthwash to combat leftover bacteria. A follow up treatment is required in about a month.

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