Scaling and Root Planing | Westminster MA

The objective of scaling and root planing is the non-surgical removal of etiologic agents such as dental plaque and tartar, or calculus, which cause gingival inflammation and disease. Scaling and Root Planing may be indicated as definitive treatment or as preparation for surgical procedures.

What do the Procedures entail?

When scaling and root planing is performed it is usually performed under some form of local anesthetic to make the procedure comfortable. When scaling is performed, calculus and plaque that attaches to the tooth surfaces is removed. The process targets the root surface beneath the gum line.

Root Planing is performed in order to remove diseased 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 and irrigation with antimicrobials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis.

If deep pockets remain between teeth and gums after scaling and root planing, patients seldom keep these pockets clean and free of plaque. Consequently, Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy aimed at pocket reductions or surgical intervention may be needed to correct the damage and help restore periodontal health.

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Benefits of Treatment

Scaling and Root Planing provides many benefits. One is that it can help prevent systemic disease. Research has proven that bacteria from periodontal infections can travel through the blood stream and affect other areas of the body, sometimes causing heart and respiratory diseases. Scaling and Root Planing remove the bacteria that cause these conditions.

Another benefit of treatment is protecting teeth against tooth loss. When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, the risk for periodontal disease increases. As pockets deepen, more bacteria are able to colonize, eventually causing a chronic inflammatory response by the body to destroy gingival tissue and bone. This is what leads to tooth loss.

Finally Scaling and Root Planing may make the mouth more aesthetically pleasing, and should reduce bad breath caused from food particles and bacteria in the oral cavity. Superficial stains on the teeth will be removed as well, adding an extra benefit of the procedure.